Small Beer & Upper Crust Day

Sep 14, 2008

The fascinating history of brewing and breadmaking will be explored during a special Focus Day at the Weald & Downland Open Air Museum at Singleton, near Chichester on Sunday September 14. The event will cover history, mysteries, and contemporary brewing and baking, with a chance to try some all-important samples!

The activities will be based in and around the original historic buildings on the Museum’s 50 acre downland site. The day will include talks, demonstrations, samples, hands-on activities, and a couple of contemporary trade stands to browse and buy. The exploration of the history of breadmaking and brewing will go right back to the Iron Age and Roman periods, with demonstrations by Butser Ancient Farm, complete with Iron Age round house. A number of the Museum’s houses will host demonstrations from other historical periods: this will include medieval times; Tudor times, including an insight into life in a late 16th century ‘ordinary’ (pub); and Victorian times, recreating a typical working class Sunday, in addition to exploring innovations in baking and the ongoing importance of beer.

Contemporary brewing and baking techniques will be showcased by Slindon Bakery, which itself dates back to Victorian times, and Ballards Brewery who will be taking a close look at the mysteries of yeast, with a chance to watch it growing under a microscope. There will also be representatives from CAMRA talking with visitors about their work, including their national inventory of old pub interiors and exteriors, and their campaign to save rural pubs and keep them as a lifeline in remote areas.

To demonstrate the importance of wood in all the baking and brewing processes, there will be a faggot (bundle of firewood) making demonstration by the Museum’s woodland crafts interpreter. Visitors will have a chance to find out about the importance of careful coppicing, and faggot making — a very specific skill — vital for the fires needed for brewing and baking.

For younger visitors, there will be other activities, including a ‘Mystery of Yeast’ trail around the Museum site. And thanks to Ballards Brewery, there will be a chance to have a go at growing yeast for themselves.

The Museum is open for the ‘Small Beer and the Upper Crust’ Focus Day from 10:30am to 6:00pm. The Museum is open daily until 23 December, and then from December 26 until January 1 for the ‘Sussex Christmas’ event. Daily admission is adults £8.50, over 60s £7.50, children £4.50, family £23.30, under 5s free.

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Date posted: Monday, September 1st, 2008 20:09 | Under category: Events, News
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