With Hops and Dreams, Bedford’s newest beer festival, this weekend, one local beer lover is possibly looking forward to the celebration of food, drink and music more so than most.
Stephen Roffe, better known as Stigsy, will see a brew of his own creation being served and poured at the festival after winning a home brewer’s competition at Beerfly.
Stigsy, who only started all-grain brewing a couple of years ago, after having mixed results with cider, is a regular at Beerfly’s home brewer’s meetings and has found he’s actually quite good at it.
“I love beer,” said Stigsy. “Especially the new wave of craft beers that have emerged in the last 10 years or so.
“I was inspired by BrewDog who released their entire back catalogue of beer recipes a couple of years ago and I just had to have a go at trying to clone my favourites.
“With the kit and ingredients available now, homebrewers in their garages can brew beers very close, and in some cases, dare I say it, better, than the pros.”
Beerfly ran a competition to have the winning recipe brewed and served at their Hops and Dreams beer festival, and Stigsy said he couldn’t believe it when the judges chose his beer ‘Syko Simcoe’.
“It was the greatest day of my life, narrowly beating the birth of my kids and wedding day,” he said.
“The prize was to brew my beer at Three Hills Brewery. I took my dad. It was like Charlie Bucket and his Grandpa turning up at Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory.
“To now also see my beer being served at a beer festival, is a dream come true for a home brewer like me. To see people enjoying the fruits of your labour is ultimately why we do it.
“I can’t wait to discuss the beer with other beer geeks at Hops & Dreams, there is always room for improvement.”
Stigsy’s original beer has now evolved slightly with help from Three Hills Brewery, it’s an American IPA style at 5.8% abv, with Cryo Simcoe hops and best malt, wheat malt, Carapils and oats.
It’s so fresh, the tasting notes haven’t even been released yet, but Stigsy tells us the original was “bitter, orange, mandarin, floral, Simcoe showcases the best the west.”
Other brewers in attendance this weekend include Cloudwater, Polly’s Brew Co & Moncada.
There will also be DJs and live bands throughout the weekend brought to you by local promoters The Pad Presents and Roll Your Own Records and a range of the UK’s best street food stalls outside.
With local distillers Two Birds bringing their gins, vodka and perhaps a little absinthe to the mix this promises to be a fantastic event.
Tickets for Hops and Dreams session at Harpur Suite 24-26 October are available at their ticketing page.