REAL ale beer is being brewed in Uttoxeter for the first time in 90 years. Uttoxeter Brewing Company has opened a micro-brewery in the 18th century coach house at the back of the carpark of the White Hart Hotel in Carter Street. The company, which is owned and run by beer enthusiasts Tom Abbott and Andy Ockleton, began in October 2016 when the duo brewed beer in Andy’s conservatory, initially just selling it to pubs in the area.
The last commercial brewery in Uttoxeter was Bunting’s Brewery which was situated opposite to the town hall on the shopping and car park area called ‘the Maltings’.
It was set up in the 19th century and ceased brewing in 1929.
On why they decided to start up a brewing company, Tom said: “It is because of our passion for beers and also that we thought it was time for a change of career.
“We have both lived in Uttoxeter for over 20 years and we feel very much part of the local community.
“We were approached by a local developer, Malcolm Barrett and Ashley Guntripp the owners of the White Hart with an offer of the use of the 19th century coach house at the back of the hotel’s large car park.”
Tom and Andy, who are both members of the local branch of Campaign For Real Ale currently work with 16 different recipes with beers ranging from a Blonde beer called Bunting’s Blonde (3.7% ABV) to a black porter called Paddock Porter (4.8% ABV).
Tom said: “The names of the beers reflect aspects of the locality.
“The dark beers; porter, mild and brown ale have names which reflect the horse racing history of the town, such as: Dark Horse mild, Full Gallop brown ale and Paddock Porter.
“Some beers emphasise the importance of JCB, such as Earthmover, Groundbreaker and Earthmover Gold; and some pay respect to other local figures such as Admiral Gardner, Dr Johnson and even the local farming and butcher family The Sargeants.”
The brewery equipment which Tom and Andy are currently using is a 10bbl kit, which means they can brew 20 firkins/casks each time.
Tom said: “We have two fermenters so we can brew twice a week.
“That is a capacity of about 2,900 pints a week.”
Uttoxeter Brewing Company now provides beers to many of the large CAMRA beer festivals, and has permanent pumps on at the White Hart, The Horse and Dove and the Plough – all in Uttoxeter.
They also regularly supply beers to the Dog & Partridge in Marchington, The Vernon Arms in Sudbury and The Talbot and Bulls Head in Alton.
Tom added: “We hope to increase production to 40 per week in the next few months, once we are fully familiar with the new equipment.
“Once we get up and fully running we are also going to look to keg some of our beers and getting them bottled and put into cans for direct sales and to supply local supermarkets and farm shops.
“We also hope to gain a premises licence to sell draft beer direct to customers later in the year.
“We hope to employ others in the future once the brewery becomes fully established.”
As part of the opening of the brewery, a Beer, Gin and Rum Festival is taking place at the brewery on Easter Sunday, April 21.
Visitors will be able to sample Uttoxeter Brewing Company’s selection of real ales and craft beer, and there will be a selection of some of the newest speciality gins and rums with ‘on trend’ mixers.
The event will also include a hog roast as well as live entertainment throughout the day which will run from 11.30am until 7pm.
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