The whey to brew beer
Whey may be on-trend for boosting protein levels in sports and health nutrition, but a brewery has teamed-up with Arla and come up with a very different use for it.
The experts at Belvoir Brewery in Old Dalby, Melton Mowbray have found a creative use for the whey left over from the making of the award winning Stilton cheese at Arla’s Tuxford & Tebbutt creamery down the road. The brewery adds the whey, the watery by-product of Stilton blue cheese, to create the deliciously creamy – and innovative – beer. Blue Brew has achieved global status following its inclusion in the Brewed with Balls guide that celebrates the weird and wonderful beers from around the world.
The idea behind mixing cheese with beer first originated in 2010 from the Stilton Cheesemakers Association that was looking to draw attention to Britain’s favourite blue cheese. Intended as a one-off project, the beer tasted so great that the brewers at Belvoir decided to keep making the product – much to the delight of beer and cheese fans everywhere.
In line with Arla’s focus on innovation, the creamery was delighted to contribute to the unusual product. Now every September, the brewers arrive at Tuxford & Tebbutt to pick up around 1,000 litres of whey that the creamery provides for free.
The whey is taken to the brewery on the day the beer is brewed. It is infused directly in the fermenter with the chilled wort from the copper, and live brewer’s yeast is then added to the infusion to allow to ferment.
This is enough to make 125 cases, or approximately 1,500 bottles, of the beer a year, ready for distribution by mid-November – just in time for the holiday season.
The chestnut-coloured beer is different to any other beer due to the protein and fat content from the whey and, as such, boasts a unique flavour and creamy texture.
Tony Hayes, site manager at the Tuxford & Tebbutt Creamery said: “When we received the request several years ago, we thought it was a creative and fun way to raise the awareness of Stilton and where it is made – we never thought it would become an annual event but having tasted it I can see why they keep returning each year.”
Colin Brown, founder and managing director of Belvoir Brewery, said: “The beer doesn’t taste like Stilton but what the whey does is give it a creaminess unlike most other beers. We really enjoy making it and seeing the reaction people get when they find out what it’s made of.”
Blue Beer Brew is available locally in stores and markets and also directly from the Belvoir Brewery.
The Tuxford & Tebbutt creamery, formed in 1780, is famed as one of only six creameries in the world permitted to make Blue Stilton – the ‘King of English Cheeses’.