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Steven arranged a piss-up in a brewery last weekend. Well, it wasn’t quite a piss-up, but four beers were consumed in the space of two-and-a-half hours, whilst 80 litres of something approximating IPA was brewed.

He had been stuck for a birthday gift for his dad. A problem no-doubt faced by many sons, as it becomes increasingly difficult to come up with something unique and appreciated with the passing of each year. After considering the usual bottle of whisky/selection of cheeses/moisturiser (yes, really!), he had come up with sweet F.A.

Feeling depressed, he opened the fridge and pulled out a bottle of craft ale. Reaching for the bottle-opener he remembered this beer had been a gift from his dad. Wait a minute… an idea started to form in his befuddled brain – what if he could brew a beer for his dad? What a perfect present that would be! Then, he thought again (yes, really!) – isn’t it better to gift an experience? What if they (Steven, his dad, his brother and brother-in-law) could all get together and brew Dad’s own craft beer? Surely the ultimate gift!

After a brief Google, it turned out that this idea was not only possible but easy to organise. Craft Beer Kitchen at Stewart Brewing offered the very thing. It really is the perfect gift for a beer-lover. Not only do you get the fantastic experience of brewing your own beer, with the help of a very knowledgable brewer and all of the correct equipment at your disposal, but you also get up to 80 litres of your own beer to drink or share. That’s 160, 500ml bottles of beer. That should be enough to keep even the most prolific piss-artist happy!

Steven’s dad decided that 40 litres of IPA would be sufficient and Steven is hopeful that some of that will find its way into his fridge (taste dependent). They all had a great time at the brewing session where each member of the group was given 4 beer tokens on arrival. Each token could be exchanged for a schooner of beer and there was an eclectic mix to choose from.

The beer can be consumed throughout the brewing session and certainly helps to give an idea of the different flavours created by varying the type of malt and hops used in the brew mix.

Steven really enjoyed the whole experience and left with unrealistic notions of setting up a family-run craft brewery from his dad’s garage. Perhaps they had better wait and see what their creation tastes like first!

Now all they need is someone to design the labels. Thoughts?