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Welsh brewers launch vinegar made from beer destined for the drain

Bluestone Brewing and In the Welsh Wind Distillery in Wales teamed up to save 3,500 litres of beer from going to waste during the pandemic, instead creating a Welsh Cask Vinegar.

Welsh brewers launch vinegar from beer destined for the drain
Credit: In the Welsh Wind Distillery

When the first lockdown was announced in March 2020, cask beer brewers had a huge problem on their hands. With such a short shelf life, bottling and selling cask ale to customers drinking at home was not a viable option.

For Simon Turner, director and founder of Bluestone Brewing, announcement of the lockdown meant potentially pouring 3,500 litres of cask ale down the drain, and any profits along with it.

As reported by Nation.Cymru, Turner explained: “We were gearing up for a really busy Easter and had just filled our cold store up with a huge amount of Cask Beer.”

“When the first lockdown happened, we lost our market overnight. All of a sudden we had nowhere for all of that beer to go and it was a really worrying time for us as a business. Cask Beer has a short date life and so we had to come up with a plan quickly to save it from going down the drain.”

To rectify this problem, Bluestone Brewing teamed up with In the Welsh Wind Distillery, a Welsh craft gin and whisky maker, to create a vinegar from the would-be-wasted brew.

Quoted in Nation.Cymru, Alex Jungmayr, distillery director, said: “I was dismayed at the prospect of all this hard work – and beautiful beer – going to waste and was determined to see if there was something we could do to help.”

“Fortunately, I like a challenge, and after I had done some research, vinegar seemed like the clear solution.”

Orkney Craft Vinegar in Scotland helped out by providing expertise and the vinegar ‘mother’ – a gelatinous disk which turns alcohol into acetic acid.

Borrowing oak casks from another Welsh Whisky distillery, the beer developed into vinegar over the following months. It is now being distributed via a giveaway on In the Welsh Wind Distillery’s social media.

Vinegar isn’t the only good thing coming out of Wales right now. This Welsh Pinot Noir blew its rivals out of the water earlier this year. Read more on that here.

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