Schoolhouse Brewery: Story of the Brew
In celebration of our Local Libations issue, we asked Schoolhouse’s Cameron Hartley to walk us through the creation of one of the Windsor brewery’s signature creations:
Name of the Beer: Chequers Porter, first brewed in 2005.
The Grapevine (GV): What’s the story behind the beer? How did the flavour concept come together?
Cameron Hartley (CH):I was aiming to brew a delicious dark beer that did not feel too “heavy”.
GV: Who named it and why? Do you use any special ingredients?
CH: I named this beer as a tribute to my great-great-grandfather’s pub in Kent, England, The Chequers Inn, where he brewed the beer.The Chequers was originally built in 1137 as a manor house, and has been an inn since 1414. It still operates to this day. Kent was an agricultural area that was especially known for its hops. Specifically East Kent Goldings that are widely used today. The obvious choice of hops for this beer was East Kent Goldings, which give this porter a very traditional earthy-bitter flavour typical of English Porters.
GV: Who did the bottle or can design, and what were you looking for in that?
CM: The bottle design, of course, had to pay tribute to the Chequers Inn which is still operating in the small town of Lamberhurst in Kent England. The artwork was done by Eric Miller a Halifax artist who does all of our labels. We will have the Chequers available in cans later
GV: When was it first available to buy?
CH: The Chequers was one of the first two beers that started the brewery in June 2014.
GV: What’s the flavour profile?
CH: The complex malt character of this beer brings out different flavors for different people. Typical flavors that people get are chocolate and coffee. With a great “roasty” background.
GV: What is it nicely paired with?
CH: Cool evenings, hearty meat dishes, chocolate desserts.