It's sure to be a hot one at the 20th West Dean Chilli Fiesta this year…drinks at the ready! Langham Brewery are back in town on the 7th, 8th and 9th of August to help put out the fire!
They'll be bringing with them another great selection of real ales that no doubt will be the chilli-head's best friend after indulging in the spicy delights that the festival has in abundance in less than 2 weeks time!
PLUS, Langham will also be bringing a specially made ginger beer not sold anywhere else! oooooooh yes.
The owners, Lesley Foulkes and James Berrow, with full time brewer Saulo Parreira (left) recieve 1st place for their beer 'Arapaho' from the Haslemere Beer Festival committee. James is the Alchemist and Lesley handles sales as well as joining up the dots behind the scenes. But (as I'm reliably informed), the real boss of the operation is Alfie the Patterdale Terrier (centre).
"Langham Brewery are an independent steam-powered microbrewery situated between the West Sussex towns of Midhurst and Petworth in the beautiful South Downs National Park. Our passion is to produce innovative, distinctive and flavoursome cask-conditioned real ales using the finest quality ingredients and traditional craft skills" - Lesley Foulkes (Co-Owner)
I dare say that's exactly what they deliver too! With 6 regular ales, and 7 "Limited Edition" seasonal ales to offer, the passion and quality will certainly be there to see for festival-goers when the Langham Brewery team roll in to West Dean for the 20th Anniversary Chilli Fiesta this August.
"We are well known in our local area and love being involved with local events; fundraisers, local PTA's, sports associations and traditional pastimes. We regularly host musical charity events at the brewery; 'Live At Langhams', plus we very much enjoy our infamous, annual Bonkers For Conkers competition, in aid of The Chestnut Tree Hospice, now in its 8th year!"
Aside from their excellent charity work and family-friendly tours and events, this small, locally admired brewery hold some big ambitions in the brewing world.
They've already made some pretty big waves, sweeping up awards left, right and centre this year including S.I.B.A S.E. regional competition Gold (July 2015) with Black Swallow, the champion beer of West Sussex CAMRA and Redhill CAMRA beer fest. As well as being the 2015 Sussex Food and Drink Awards brewing Grand Finalist!
Their SALSA plus Beer accreditation mirrors their 'brewing to the highest standards' ethos, and Langham are one of only 4 UK breweries to receive Cask Marque approval!
That sounds like a lot to take in, but believe me the scale of success that this little brewery has enjoyed recently is nothing short of incredible, all whilst retaining all of the heart and charm which I believe makes them so special.
Now I'm not usually much of a real ale lover, but Langham Brewery have managed to turn me around a bit. Here are a selection of my personal favourites that Langham produce, all of which will be available at Chilli Fiesta 2015! Stay tuned as well for a delicious recipe for beer battered onion rings (of which these beers accompany beautifully).
Half way to Heaven
Silver Medal, SIBA S.E. Region Beer Competition 2009
Auburn/chestnut colour. H2H is well balanced between crisp biscuity maltiness and a citrus and fruit hop character with a hint of bitterness in the finish.
Winner, Haslemere Beer Festival Sept 2013
The clue's in the name. A generously super-hopped deep deep gold American Pale Ale with a creamy, foamy head.
Following in the modern tradition of blonde strongly hopped beers. A classic blonde beer - clean and crisp. The nose is loaded with floral hop aroma, while the pale, malt flavour is overtaken by a pleasing dry and bitter finish.
A tawny-coloured classic best beer with well-balanced malt flavours, finished with a hint of blackcurrant and a slightly spicy, sweet aroma.
Feeling creative? Below is a simple and delicious recipe to try:
Langham Hip Hop blonde beer x 1 bottle
plain white flour x 2 cups
sunflower oil x 300 ml
large white onions x 3
Sea-salt x 1 pinch
1) This recipe couldn't be simpler! To start off, the onions need slicing, so tissues at the ready chefs! Top and tail the onions with a sharp kitchen knife, remove the skin (as well as top layer if preferred) and discard.
Thickly slice the onion (about 1cm wide), ensuring that you slice in the opposite direction to the grain (see photo). This should provide you with whole rings of onion ready to dip in to the batter. Repeat the process with each onion.
2) Place the flour in to a large mixing bowl and form a circular crater in the centre. Poor in the Hip Hop beer to the crater and mix well with a whisk until the batter is smooth and lump free.
(note: to test the batter, dip one of your onion rings in to the mix. If it thickly sticks to the onion then you're in business! If it's too runny then add flour and mix until thicker.)
3) Pour the sunflower oil in to a deep frying pan or wok and heat using the hob at a medium-high temperature.
Once the oil starts to bubble slightly, it is then hot enough to use. Take the onions a handful at a time and soak in the batter mixture.
Using a fork or tongs, transfer the onions from the mixture in to the oil. Cook them until golden brown and place them on to a couple of pieces of kitchen roll resting on a plate. This helps soak up excess oil. Repeat the process until all of the coated onions have been cooked, and voila!
Hip Hop onion rings are great as a snack. Or partner them with shallow fried smoked haddock fillets marinated in sunflower oil and paprika.
They're equally as delicious with pan fried lamb chops and fresh salad. For the chilli lovers amongst you, a few pinches of chilli powder in the batter mixture really gives your onion rings a great kick! ;)
Remember, you can experience the quality of Langham real ale when the team make their way down the road to West Dean this August… Cheers to that!
Langham ales are available in a wide range of hostelries across Sussex, Surrey and Hampshire. Bottled beer is also available in Tesco, Waitrose, Budgens, plus local delis and off licences and, of course, the brewery shop! The brewery welcomes visitors and offers tours for groups of all ages and sizes!
For full information and to book tickets visit www.westdean.org.uk/chilli