Getting your hands dirty and brewing beer is a major part of the MSc in Brewing Science and Practice. There are numerous formal and informal opportunities to use Braumiesters, Grainfathers, temperature controlled fermenters and a range of packaging formats for tasting and competitions.
In the beer design project students compete in teams to design and brew beers to a given specification. The winners each year then get the chance to Cuckoo brew the winning recipe at a local brewery and launch their beer to trade through the Cuckoo Collaborative. It's hard work but high profile and with much media noise. Although working as a team, one student is responsible for brewing and quality whilst another leads on marketing and sales. There is no budget for advertising so the teams have to be inventive to get the message out.
The inaugural year (2016) in collaboration with Castle Rock resulted in the release of an alt beer (‘Alternate Universe’). In 2017, Cuckoo Collaborative beers were created with Black Iris in Nottingham (‘Laima’s Luck’– a lime and coriander hefeweizen) and Dancing Duck in Derby (‘Jester’ - a British hopped IPA). In 2018, beers were created with Neon Raptor (‘Fly the Nest’) and Navigation (‘Steam Spirit’). As a further twist, the teams linked with local charities, the Padley Group and the Nottingham Industrial Museum.
Be a ‘cuckoo brewer’ and launch a beer
In 2019 Ben Bonham and Georgia Hollis teamed up with Brewster’s to brew ‘Bird of Passage’, a Belgian-style IPA (pictured).