Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Breweries on the beeb!

A couple of breweries have briefly featured on the BBC recently:

You get a brief glimpse of Wayland's brewery on Escape to the Country, as the owners are looking to move to Dorset. It's a property show so apart from eyeing up out-buildings and garages and going 'you might fit a brewery in there' there's not much else of interest for the beer nerd. I was probably more interested than most as Wayland's is quite close to me and I had a brief email exchange with Scott (the owner) to see if I could come over and do some work experience when I was studying at Heriot-Watt. Nothing came of it though so Wayland's missed out on the chance to gain the coveted status of righteous brewery.

There was slightly more to see on Countryfile, for starters it had quite a lot on 'the pub is the hub' showcasing the excellent Old Crown in Hesket Newmarket, Britain's first co-operatively owned pub.

Also they had one of the presenters taking the barely from his farm to Warminster floor maltings and then he went on to Hook Norton brewery. When I was working as a brewer I once spent a day at Hook Norton learning about how they do their lab work. I met the bloke introduced on Countryfile as the head brewer, James Clarke, though what they didn't mention that he is the Hooky heir. They were very nice people at Hook Norton so I had no hesitation in including them on the list of righteous breweries.


  1. re Countryfile - Cheers Ed, I'd taped this the other day, as part of it was on Lavenham, where I have some rellies, I hadn't spotted all the stuff about malt, pubs, breweries, etc.

    My first thought about Hook Norton was why didn't they choose a new micro on a farm (diversification & all that) but actually it was really good to see inside HN - the steam engine & proper open-topped copper 'copper' (I remember adding hops to the one at Brakspear - I don't think it made the journey up to Wychwood).

    Thanks again.

  2. Hook Norton is wonderful brewery, standing by the open copper when it's in action is amazing. They've even got a cool ship up in the roof which they only recently stopped using. And they still had some proper 36 gallon barrels in use, in fact they said they still had some hogsheads somewhere. Much as I like inovation in brewing I do like a bit of traditon too.