So you might have wondered why I've been a bit quiet on the blogging front? No? Well, I'll explain anyway.
As you might have gathered, I currently work for Kelham Island Brewery in Sheffield. They've taught me how to brew and shown me the mysterious ways of the bizarre but quite wonderful beer industry. What you probably don't know is that I was taken on to set up a new brewery which in a joint project with Welbeck Abbey, near Worksop.
Over the past couple of months I've been starting to set up 'Welbeck Abbey Brewery', and have pretty much worked on it full time for the last month or so. The brewery is a 10 barrel kit which we'll be brewing on twice a week, hopefully establishing three core beers and then various series of monthly specials. More on that to come soon...
The village of Welbeck surrounds Welbeck Abbey which was built in about 1153 as a monastery, and after various centuries of use as an Abbey, came into the possession of a branch of the Cavendish family. It's been extensively redeveloped during this period, and many of the village buildings were built by the 6th Duke of Portland in the late 19th Century. The brewery is being installed in an old barn, which admittedly isn't as grand as the old stone buildings, but it's still pretty cool. I've set up a (rather rubbish ATM) blog to follow the progress of the brewery, but I'll be writing on here from a more personal angle.
It's a completely different world out there, everyone is incredibly relaxed and welcoming so I already feel part of their little community. Mad things happen though, like yesterday. I am working on a logo for the brewery and want to use the Bentink badge as that's the main family name really (after the Cavendish bit - it's very complex I think!), so I popped in to see Derek, Welbeck's archivist. Yes they have several historians/archivists. He was looking on Google for a good example of a Ducal Coronet, which is basically like a crown but specific for the title of Duke. He couldn't find one, so he donned some white gloves, fetched an tin hat box, and from this old box he produced the Portland Ducal Coronet. It is silver-gilt and is dated about 1820's I think. It's been worn at various coronations over the last 200 years. I took a photo in the viewing room. Mental.