08:00 Saturday 23 February 2013

MP swaps 'hear, hear' for 'beer, beer' at Bridge

Written byADRIAN JENKINS

AN MP has exchanged debating and voting for mashing and fermenting to spend a day brewing beer.

Burton Conservative Andrew Griffiths learned the tricks of the trade by working a 10-hour shift at Burton Bridge Brewery, in Bridge Street, Burton.

“I did the who brewing process from start to finish – it was a real grain to glass experience,” he said.

“While in my time as chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Beer Group I’ve visited dozens of breweries, I learned more in that day about brewing than I’ve learned in the past two-and-a-half years in the group.”

Picked up in a 1938 vintage lorry at 6.50am by joint brewery owner Geoff Mumford, Mr Griffiths was asked to don wellies and rubber gloves before scrubbing the fermentation tank.

He then set up the mash tun, shovelled out left-over barley and cleaned up post-fermentation.

After testing the brew, the 3.8 per cent Golden Delicious, Mr Griffiths was put to work readying barrels before helping deliver the fruit of his labours to the Lord Burton, in High Street.

The parliamentary ale will be ready to quaff in three weeks.

“I’m came to the conclusion beer is part cooking, part chemistry and part alchemy,” said Mr Griffiths, who got the chance to sample the beer at the end of his shift.

“It was really good to meet all the staff and see everybody involved,” said the MP.

“I had not realised it employed 11 people.

“As well as being a great brewer, Burton Bridge is an important business in Burton.”

Mr Griffiths plans to give the £100 he was paid to the Victoria Cross trust to put towards the renovation of Burton VC-holder William Coltman’s grave at St Mary’s Church, Winshill.

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