Portsmouth microbrewery produces beer with university students to celebrate Rugby World Cup

Brewhouse and Kitchen head brewer Jason Bolger with rugby players from the University of Portsmouth
Brewhouse and Kitchen head brewer Jason Bolger with rugby players from the University of Portsmouth
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The Rugby World Cup has captured the nation’s heart – and now a city brewery has decided to mark the contest in style.

Brewhouse and Kitchen in Guildhall Walk, Portsmouth, has produced a beer in homage to the occasion with the help of rugby players from the University of Portsmouth.

It’s the world cup, it’s the biggest event in rugby and the fact it’s being held here as well is fantastic and a very big deal.

Brewhouse and Kitchen head brewer Jason Bolger

Members of the university’s men’s and women’s teams spent the day preparing a batch of the brew, which is 5.2 per cent strong.

It is yet to have a name and go on sale as it’s still fermenting away, but Brewhouse head brewer Jason Bolger cannot wait to let customers have a try.

Talking about why he wanted to produce a beer celebrating rugby, Jason said: ‘It’s the world cup – it’s the biggest event in rugby and the fact it’s being held here as well is fantastic and a very big deal.

‘The rye gives it a lot of spice and the crystal malt will add a lot of fullness to the beer.

‘And the rugby players are spicy and full of life, so I thought it was a good take on the sport.’

Jason added: ‘The students all had a great time.

‘I wasn’t too sure how it would go, but people asked a lot of great questions and were really interested in what was going on.

The venue – made up of a pub and a microbrewery – has been refurbished and is fronted by a new team.

There’s now an open kitchen so guests can watch the chefs cook, and a private area can be hired out for events.

Guests are being invited to a ‘showcase’ event tonight celebrating the improvements that have been made, and it will be open as normal to the general public.

Jason, who was appointed to his position two months ago, said he’s enjoyed life so far and is excited by the resurgence in brewing in the area.

It comes as new brewers have cropped up in the form of Urban Island Brewing Company, in Limberline Spur, Portsmouth, and The Southsea Brewing Company.

Jason, 36, said: ‘It’s an exciting time.

‘Because of the refurbishment, the space has changed and some of the core team has changed as well.

‘We’re all very enthusiastic and excited to be a part of the company.

‘We just want to make great food and beer so people can have a great time.’

Talking about the boom in brewing, Jason said: ‘With growth comes competition, and that’s a good thing as well.

‘If you don’t have competition, it’s easy to become complacent.’

The first Brewhouse and Kitchen opened in Portsmouth, and now similar venues have opened up across the south coast and in London.