‘Brewbikes’ get students to Sunderland beer school

Students from Sunderland's Brewlab with their brewbikes, from the city's Darke Cycles
Students from Sunderland's Brewlab with their brewbikes, from the city's Darke Cycles
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STUDENTS learning the art of real ale have no excuse for being late for class.

Brewlab, which trains up new recruits for the brewing industry, has welcomed the arrival of a fleet of ‘brewbikes’ to help them travel to beer college.

A Sunderland bike firm has donated 12 bikes to students of the 2014 Brewlab summer diploma course, which this year welcomes students from as far afield as Italy, Greece and the USA.

All those on the course – headed up by brewing expert Dr Keith Thomas – are keen cyclists and wanted to cut down travel times between the Brewlab unit on the Enterprise Park and Sunderland University, where they have specialist classes and accommodation.

Darke Cycles in High Street West, Sunderland, supplied 12 reconditioned bikes, which the students can also use when they travel to local breweries on work placements and to visit landmarks around the region. The apprentice brewers were so pleased with their new wheels that a Brewbike Bitter is now fermenting at the centre, which offers three and 10-week brewing courses.

Student Duncan Oswald, who is setting up a microbrewery in the hills of Savoie in the Alps region, said: “Brewlab’s brewbikes are ideal to get to class and around town.

“I’m very used to cycling in the French mountains and the bikes help me feel at home in less hilly Sunderland.”

Duncan is also looking forward to excursions to Durham Dales and Northumberland during his stay. Other students are taking the opportunity to visit regions of the UK and Europe to sample different beers and take recipes home for their own new breweries.

Brewlab was established at the University of Sunderland in 1986 and became an independent venture in 2008.