Wolverhampton Business Champions Event

By Matt Weston

Last night we attended the first in a series of events held by Wolverhampton Business Solutions Centre at our home on the Science Park. Wolverhampton Business Champions (#businesschampions) aims to improve innovation & competiveness of businesses through a number of talks by large local companies.

Last night Richard Westwood, the MD of Marston’s Beer & Pub Company was on hand to talk about Fastcask.

Now I’m no expert on this, so forgive me if I don’t go into great detail. In a nutshell traditional Cask Ales need 24-48 hours to settle to allow the yeast to reach the bottom of the container. It’s a worthwhile process as you get fantastic tasting ales, which I much prefer to lager.

In many instances it’s not practical to sell cask ales – take live sporting events, music festivals, cruises etc.   In fact many pubs even see it as impracticable as  45% of pubs & bars do not sell cask ales.

Those clever folks at Marston’s managed to find a solution – cask ale without waiting & keeping the quality the same.

They mixed together a form of seaweed and yeast which binds them together into heavier balls. This means that the yeast gets to the bottom of the cask immediately & therefore the beer is good to go. It still conditions the beer in the same way as before but without the wait. Even if the cask is disturbed in can still stay on sale.

Richard from Marstons was very open in his presentation & said that none of what they had done was a new idea. It was all existing technology that they brought together. He said that often people think to be innovative we have to invent something new, when in fact, we can use ideas around us & bring them together for very little money.

It was a very inspiring talk & we even got a chance to taste the beer. As a big ale fan, the Sunbeam which I tried was absolutely brilliant. It was a shame I could only have half a pint because of driving else as I would’ve sank a few more.

My dad would’ve been proud – I’m a converted ale drinker from the dark side (lager). He used to wear his Hobgoblin t-shirt (another Marston brand) & give me hard time about drinking lager – the slogan is “what’s the matter lager boy, afraid you might taste something?” and actually now I’m out of my teens and into my mid twenties I have to agree – I was afraid of him being right.

We’re looking forward to the Wolverhampton Business Champions event with Caparo on November 21st & many more from MOOG, UTC Aerospace, Wolverhampton Wanderers FC & Carvers. If you can attend make sure you do. Hope to see you there & be sure to come & say hello.

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