Tuesday 24th May saw the new Welbeck Abbey Brewery officially opened for real ale production. Bryan Jackson, Chairman of the East Midlands Development Agency, cut the red ribbon on the day. EMDA kindly provided a grant for the purpose-built building under the Rural Development Programme for England which has enabled the joint owners, The Welbeck Estates Company and Kelham Island Brewery, to design and build this state of the art micro-brewery.
Directors Robin Brown and David Wickett both spoke of their enthusiasm for the new venture, particularly as the real ale industry is booming. This is the newest addition to the rapidly growing ‘Welbeck Project’ which aims to establish a sustainable community in this historic rural estate, centred around the Arts, creative business, rural diversification and education.
We welcomed almost 100 people on the day, including a 50’s double decker bus full of guests from Sheffield which added a great sense of atmosphere and excitement to the day. After the official opening of the brewery, we headed to the Harley Gallery to sample the very first beer – ‘First Brew’ at 4.3%ABV, accompanied by fresh sandwiches from the Farm Shop. It was also Mr Wickett’s birthday, so we shared a very appropriate beer-related cake which was thoroughly enjoyed by all. Claire ran two tours of the brewery to explain just what happens to make that delicious amber drink, both of which were well attended by the interested guests.
The beers which are brewed at Welbeck are made purely with Welbeck water, malted barley, hops, and our own fresh yeast. We do not use any refined sugars or artificial preservatives. The recipes are unique to this micro-brewery and are designed by head brewer Claire Monk, who was taught to brew at the award winning Kelham Island Brewery after studying Microbiology at The University of Sheffield. All the recipes and names are inspired by the deep and fascinating history of Welbeck Abbey.
Now that the Welbeck Abbey Brewery is fully up and running, the ales will be available in pubs between Sheffield, Lincoln, and Nottingham from the start of June. If you would like to try some at home, Claire will be hand bottling a small number for the Welbeck Farm Shop each week.
To get in touch and follow the progress of the brewery, you can contact Claire through Twitter: WelbeckAbbeyBry, Facebook: search for ‘Welbeck Abbey Brewery’, Email:Claire.firstname.lastname@example.org or Phone: 01909 512539.