The other week in our blog we evangelised about the value of partnership and teamwork in winemaking. Such is our enthusiasm for collaboration, we have decided to take it one step further, and by god is it exciting!?

Craftspeople exist in myriad forms: artists, musicians, chefs; those who work with their hands, those who write, and, from our own world, of course, those who make and blend wine. But, over the last few years, the architects of other ‘grown-up beverages’ have gained well-deserved recognition for their work. Herein lies the basis for our new project.

With a wealth of experience in winemaking, would it be possible to team up with brewers, apply that accumulated knowledge and produce a range of beers that complimented our portfolio?

The idea took us back to secondary school English class. Remember Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream? You know, the one where all those people with Greek-sounding names spend a bit of time in the woods to escape a wedding and a guy turns into a half-man, half-donkey? Well, in that masterpiece there’s this group of Athenian craftsmen, all from different backgrounds, who come together to put on a play for royalty. Skilled individuals collaborating to produce something unique –  sounds perfect.

So, our winemakers teamed up with Robert Wicks of Westerham Brewery and James Van der Watt of Jabru; we went all in on the imagery of the half-donkey (character upfront, with a technical behind) and created Rude Mechanicals.

When winemakers get to the end of the day and take a break, sometimes it’s a beer that quenches the thirst. Inevitably the conversation turns to styles, flavours, process and comparisons are made to wine. It seems appropriate then that our winemakers tried their hand at making beer and our Rude Mechanical First Audition Pale ale and Punchy Pilsner are the results. Our two winemakers took two very different approaches to how they made these two beers. The results are… well try them and form your own opinion.

– Michael Moriarty, Director.

The project has pushed our Wine Team into new territories and we’ve learnt an awful lot along the way: from the similarities and differences between winemaking and brewing to the art of blending hops – we’ve even been able to teach the brewers a thing or two about our approach to blending thanks to the incredible palate of Samantha Bailey.

As with everything we’ve done throughout the years, this is a project about which we are passionate, and to which we are wholly dedicated. This won’t be all you hear from Rude Mechanicals Brewery – it is very much the beginning of the story – but for now, here’s what we’ve got for you…

If you’re interested in tasting any of the Rude Mechanicals products or want to find out any more information, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your account manager.

First Audition Pale Ale

Made by Boutinot Winemaker Eric Monnin and brewer Robert Wicks in the Westerham Brewery in Kent. First Audition is a symphony of hops which deliver a tropical fruit flavour and a light, refreshing and easy to drink pale ale with a low bitterness. Eric’s approach was to work with the brewer to select the right hops to match what he was looking for in the style, giving what he describes as a Sauvignon character. To perfect this required a second round of dry hopping with the Amarillo hops.

Feather Weight Punchy Pilsner

Boutinot’s Master Blender, Samantha Bailey worked with brewer James Van de Watt, experimenting to match the hops for this champion blend. Following her format for making iconic wine blends, Samantha selected from a tasting of over 30 hops, a blend which delivers a refreshing pilsner style beer which she likened to one of our South African Chenin Blancs. Hops were all dry hopped, adding them once fermentation was complete and left to infuse for 7 days for added flavour.