New breweries get a lift
Castle Rock Brewery has launched NewBrew Night, a scheme to help customers get to know new tastes and tipples from brand new breweries. First night was at the Poppy and Pint in Lady Bay, West Bridgford, in February 2012.
Now, the third Thursday of the month becomes NewBrew Night at not just the Poppy but also many other pubs in the Castle Rock estate including the Lincolnshire Poacher, the Swan in the Rushes, the Bread and Bitter and the Fox and Crown.
The idea is simple – seek out real ales from companies and individuals that have been brewing for fewer than 12 months, put them on sale and then ask customers what they think.
Among the launch night guests was Bill Scantlebury, brewer and proprietor of Cullercoats Brewery in Wallsend, one of three new breweries featured at the Poppy. “Jack the Devil went down really well, so well that our host, James, has already placed another order. The surprise came with the success of our dark beers. This was slightly unexpected in these days when so many of the new brews are blonde and aromatic. I like our noble native hops, like Goldings and Fuggles; they give taste, not just an ‘experience’. We have the best hops and malts in Britain so why not use them?” asks Bill.
Poppy and Pint pub manager, James Halfpenny, says there is at least one new brewery a week starting up in the UK, “All we do is find it, collect the ale, and put it on sale. With around 1,000 breweries making the most of the infinite range of tastes and textures that’s real ale’s greatest selling point, we’re sure this is great way to give our regulars something special and be at the forefront of promoting enterprise and innovation.
“Only a few years ago we were new brewers and we know it’s sometimes hard to get the initial introduction to the trade. This is where we hope we can help. Our regular customers will benefit too as they’ll encounter new styles and flavours before being among the first to tell the brewer how well, or otherwise, it has gone,” he says.
The Poppy and Pint’s first NewBrew Night featured ales from Cullercoats Brewery, The Norfolk Brewhouse, and Tillingbourne Brewery.