What are the hidden connections between ale-making and writing? Read on and we shall make a voyage of discovery together.

There are roughly four steps to ale-making:

  • Mashing – mixing a source of starch, e.g. malted barley, with hot water to make wort
  • Kettling – boiling the wort in a copper kettle with hops and other ingredients such as herbs and sugars
  • Fermenting – the cooled mixture is put into a fermentation tank and yeast is added
  • Conditioning – the liquid is stored in a keg and allowed to age before being imbibed.

It strikes me that writing follows a similar process:

  • Preparation – deciding what kind of story you want to write, roughing out character sketches, drawing an outline of the story arc
  • Writing – sitting down, hour after hour, day after day until all the words have flowed from your mind onto the ‘page’
  • Resting – letting the story sit for a while so that you can get some emotional distance from it
  • Editing – setting the words straight so that it reads like what real writing should read like.
Okay – maybe the only similarity between ale-making and writing is the approximate number of stages involved, but hey – it’s all clear in my head now, so – result!

2 thoughts on “Ale-Making

    • Nor to me Orpha, as I acknowledged in the final sentence of the piece. And, funnily enough, I’ve not had a drink for going on 25 years, so I don’t worry too much about how ale is made either. 🙂
      How are things going for you since we were on the Future Learn course together? Are you getting much time to write?


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