Overlooked LocAle Breweries: Better Late Than Never

Mr Fueled by Beer has been remiss. During various visits to the Cow & Cask micropub in Newbury he has enjoyed some truly excellent local beers from three small batch brewers who are all now established yet have not received coverage in this blog. It’s time to set the record straight…

Marshall’s Beers (Hermitage Brewery)

During 2013 Richard Marshall traded an academic background in food science and many years of home brewing experience to launch his commercial brewery in Hermitage just outside Newbury. His setup is on a nano-brewery scale (to use Seattle parlance); 100 litre (½ BBL) kit lending itself to bottling with limited cask production. Richard’s focus is on traditional ales using British malts and hops as well as some continental styles using noble German hops like Hallertau. Look for Marshall’s Beers in cask at the Cow & Cask, in bottles at the Inn at Home, and at other outlets in the Newbury area.

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Indigenous Brewery

Kevin Brady is another ex-home brewer who made the jump to professional brewing. In 2014 Kevin set up his 2.5 BBL brewery in the village of Chaddleworth out near the Berkshire Downs about 10 miles from Newbury. While Kevin’s catch-phrase is “Indigenous beers. . .inspired by Indigenous folks!” his beers have been popping up across an ever-expanding radius of Newbury, including in Reading’s better cask ale pubs.

The Indigenous lineup encompasses a very well-rounded range of year-round traditional bitters, mild, stout and porter and a dynamite American Pale Ale: Ammo Belle (5.6% ABV). This beer won the LocAle Beer of the Festival award at Reading Beer Festival 2016; no mean feat considering there were more than two dozen LocAle breweries and around 100 different beers in contention. Other Indigenous beers include various specials and seasonals. Look for Indigenous beer in all good cask ale and bottle outlets in Newbury, Reading and beyond.

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Little London Brewery

Andrew Watts built his 5 BBL brewery a couple of miles across the Hampshire border between Silchester and Little London late in 2015. His kit is similar to Phil Robins’ setup at Long Dog Brewery in Basingstoke, who assisted in the set up. Little London Brewery has so far been sticking closely to traditional English bitters, plus a dark mild and a brown ale. Hoppy Hilda, the beer we tasted, is no “boring brown beer” however; it is a delicate pale golden ale (3.8% ABV) made with premium British malts and hops and given plenty of time to attain peak condition. As yet there is no stout or porter as far as we know.

Look out for Little London beers at the Cow & Cask in Newbury or at the Plough Inn, Little London. Further afield, the beers may turn up at better ale pubs around Newbury, Reading and Basingstoke; and at CAMRA beer festivals (as was the case during the latter part of 2016 at Guildford, Tamworth, Nottingham and York).

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