Category Archives: SummerWine Brewery
The Free Trade Inn in Newcastle is being taken over by Yorkshire’s very own Hop-scented upstarts SummerWine Brewery next week (25th-27th). If you’re yet to try James & Andy’s wares and are up that way then do drop by – now’s your chance. My personal recommendation would be Diablo IPA, which has fast become – in my humble opinion – their Flagship beer. However, such treats as Barista, Nerotype and their new Valencia ales will be on offer. In addition, there will be plenty of US-
inspired bottle action and a Meet The Brewer night on the 24th. So, if you’re in Newcastle, you really have no excuse to catch up with one of the country’s most promising brewing outfit. You can follow the Free Trade Inn on Twitter through @TheFreeTradeInn.
Back in Leeds, North have announced their annual Belgian Bier Fest will be kicking off on the 7th April. Expect the usual mind-boggling array of Belgian beauties, along with plenty of cheese and bread (one hopes). North’s festivals are always worth dropping in on.
Finally, as if anyone in Leeds needs reminding – CAMRA’s Leeds Beer Festival is taking place now. If its tips you’re after, I can wholeheartedly recommend Hopstar’s Smokey Joe Black Beer and Thornbridge’s Chiron. Leeds’s Gyle 479 was sitting in wooden glory amongst the rows of plastic and steel, and the beer was excellent; with a much more pungent, rum/whisky-esque nose than the plummy delights of the bottled version. I understand this has now run out, but I think there are still some bottles kicking around.
James: Good question. Well, I was set on the track as a brewer around 9 years ago when I had one of those beer epiphanies, you know when you drink a beer and it changes everything you thought you knew about beer. I was 18 and the beer was Fraoch Heather Ale from Williams Bros; it was malty, spicy, slightly sweet & extremely well balanced – it instantly changed my ideas of what beer could be.
To cut a long story short, I decided to start homebrewing – first, those dodgy syrup kits & eventually full grain mash. I brewed over & over honing my skills as I went, learning all the time about mash temps, pH, sparge temp, hopping, yeasts etc. & how they all can affect the finished product. Many brews followed. I then decided I wanted to brew commercially as what I was brewing was very well received. I wanted a brewery with a name that was synonymous with its location & as I lived close to Holmfirth what better than Summer Wine? So I incorporated Summer Wine Brewery Ltd & trademarked the company name.
My motivation to brew comes from lots of sources. I have heard it said that ‘brewing is in your blood’ & when you’re in this industry brewing just feels right and when you have the passion for brewing you don’t feel like you have a job and it’s easy to get out of bed in the morning. Sometimes the motivation can come from drinking a great beer or opening and fresh pack of a new hop variety – or maybe even a blog debate (At least we’re good for something – Leigh). Inspiration is everywhere.
We believe choice is a right, not a privilege, and that is why we have a core range of nine ales. Our range carries all styles from Dambusters Dark Mild (3.5%abv) a true mild, Invictus Copper Ale (4.5% abv) our take on a Bitter with punch, up to Apache American Pale Ale (5.2% abv), my personal favorite is Teleporter (5.0% abv) our ten-grain porter that is subtly fruity & chocolatey, with real depth & class. It’s a really great dark ale.
What’s your favourite non-SummerWine beer?
Oooh that’s a tough one, so many great beers in the UK & the world for that matter. I’m a great believer that there is no such thing as a great beer only great gyles, however my favourite cask ales being brewed at the moment would have to be Marble Pint & Thornbridge Jaipur – but I am also a huge fan of dark ale as a style. My favourite bottled beer would have to be the Brewdog/Stone collaboration, Bashah.
Project 6 – what’s it all about and what can we expect? Project 6 is our new monthly released IPA at 6.6% abv. The first was released at the beginning of June and the start of every month thereafter. The 6 beers will all be Pale IPA’s that showcase the world’s best hops; six varieties in each brew, kettle, aroma & dry hopped to create intensely fruity beers that have real balance despite the huge amount of hops going into each brew,
You can expect each beer to be different from the last in that bitterness levels will change from brew to brew and some interesting dry hopping with some more unusual hops will give the beers an individual character. IPA’s are at the forefront of such an exciting brewing scene at the moment & it is really a pleasure to turn our hand to a series of them.
We currently brew two monthly specials to accompany our nine core ales, which vary in style. We also have some very exciting ideas in the pipeline for this year and beyond; without revealing too much one project will include the fusion of two styles whilst another will involve some interesting aged beers.
Probably spend the day sat in a old chesterfield reading some of the ever increasing pile of books waiting for me, mainly factual things regarding evolution, physics & cosmology whilst drinking a selection of the world’s finest bottled beers… heaven!