April 12th 2014; a cold spring evening and a landmark day –Lock Keeper’s Launch Ale flowed from the pumps in the Valiant Trooper. It is hard to put into words the pleasure of drinking your own beer in your local pub.
Haresfoot Brewery was the idea of eight friends and local business men: Simon, Philip, Nigel, Nick, Martin, Keith and, from Aldbury, Scott Carter and me. You might call it our mid-life crisis. Rather than buying fast cars, taking up triathlons or donning lycra, we built a brewery. It’s been an incredible adventure. When you set up your own business you have to be prepared to do whatever is needed: leafleting in town, working in our shop, manning the bar for a party or jumping into the car to deliver a new firkin to a pub that’s run out on a Friday afternoon – oh and of course actually making the beer. I’ve learned about the science and art of brewing drawing on my background as a chemist and discovered that there are more varieties of hops than you’d every think possible.Six months on from that first pint we now have three more beers to complement the original Lock Keeper’s. Sundial is a golden ale (English pale malts, early hopped with American Cascade and with a late hopping of German Tettnang … if you want the details!) and we’re very excited about the early feedback on our new Conqueror Premium Bitter. We are starting tastings of our American IPA, Totem.
As I write this we’re on the eve of another first for the brewery. Our warehouse is a wonderful, spacious venue and our Boxing Hares bar is friendly and comfortable; in short it’s a great place for a quick drink or even a party! Tomorrow we’re combining our passion for local, original music with our love of all things beery! Eight local musicians, including Aldbury’s Sophie Ray and Harry Phillips will perform on our stage, celebrating a year of Muzicmeet (a group that brings musicians and music lovers together) with the launch of a CD and live performances amidst the gentle aroma of hops.