Alex Arkell, the 27-year old head brewer at Arkell’s Brewery, has been keeping himself busy in the run up to his wedding on 26 January to long-time sweetheart Alice Braithwaite.
While Alice is kept frantically busy organising the wedding, which is taking place at her family home in Northumberland, as well as running her successful Lechlade teashop, which opened last year, her groom Alex has been creating the perfect celebratory beer for the occasion, which he’s named (with Alice’s approval) Ball and Chain Ale.
“It’s been a lot of fun creating a beer to mark the most important day of our lives,” said Alex. “I decided to brew a completely original recipe for Ball and Chain, using four different varieties of malt, the main ingredient in beer, to produce a distinct grist (milled malt) as its foundation with Celeia, Willamette and Columbus hop varieties added at different points through the brewing process to give a rounded, well balanced floral finish to the beer which has a hearty ABV of 5%.”
Alex says that the ingredients of his traditional ale are the same as that of a successful marriage. “Beer is brewed from malt, hops, water and yeast. Most malts are made from barley, much of it good English barley and it’s the base of any real ale. Hops are the female flowers used primarily for flavouring and stability. The yeast is used for fermentation.
"Marry them together and there you have it: Malt and hops for content, stability and flavouring and yeast to rise to the occasion.
“I’m hoping that Ball and Chain will become fundamental to a truly contented married life for us both.”