Two of our breweries won Gold awards at the 2010 SIBA North Beer Competition that was held in Manchester in late October : Allgates won the Gold award in the Strong Ales category with Mad Monk (ABV 7.1%) and Prospect once again won the Gold award in the Milds category with Nutty Slack. SIBA North is the largest region and covers Cheshire, Cumbria, Durham, Lancashire, Yorkshire, Greater Manchester, Isle of Man, Merseyside, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear.The beers go forward to the National finals that are being held in Nottingham on 10 February 2011 where they will compete with finalists from the other 6 SIBA regions. The overall winners will only be announced at the SIBA AGM on 3 March 2011.
Other news is as follows –
Allgates Brewery : Recently brewed Winter Meltdown a seasonal beer available to the end of February and Green Bullet – number 6 in the series using New Zealand hops.
Mayflower Brewery : A third of the beers brewed are being sold to the Turks Head in St Helens but also supply some to the Delph, Hop Vine in Burscough and Roscoe Head in Liverpool. The brewery bar now complete and taking bookings for tours.
Prospect Brewery : Business is booming and an order has been placed for another 12 barrel fermenter. Also placed an order for another 100 barrels. The seasonal brew Panned Out is extremely popular and is the favourite at the brewery bar. Current seasonal beers are Pickaxe and Clementine. The brewery is now selling mini casks of beers which hold 8.8 pints. These retail at £14.99.
Allgates Brewery : In the past two weeks Allgates have brewed one gyle each of Double Chocolate Stout, Mad Monk and Hung Drawn and Portered. These beers are normally brewed in December, January and November respectively but have been brewed earlier as, together with some of their permanent range beers, they are being entered into the SIBA competition that is being held in Manchester later this month.Allgates latest theme is to brew an occasional series of one hop beers. The first was Citra and the second, Apollo, was brewed a few days ago. The September special was Motueka Gold which was number 5 in a series of 10 using New Zealand hops. This will be followed by Green Bullet.In the next few weeks they will once again be brewing Winter Meltdown. This will be available from late October through to March. Sales of cider are booming and they are close to selling a pallet a week. A pallet is 40 boxes x 20 litres (35.2 pints). One pub took 25 boxes this week for a cider festival. The Anvil now sells Scrumpy on hand pump.One of the brewery owners Dave Mayhall says “we are now convinced that expansion is our only way forward but how we achieve this; where and what size plant is all up for discussion”.
Mayflower Brewery : Brewing at full capacity and their four beers Tower Hill, Black Diamond, Douglas Valley and Red Eye are all available this month. All four beers will be on sale at the Bolton Beer Festival that starts on Wednesday. New outlets include Ormskirk Golf Club, Dressers Arms at Chorley, The Pied Bull at Chester and The Roscoe Head at Liverpool.
Prospect Brewery : Recent brews have included 70 BOB, Dragon Ale, Panned Out (seasonal brew) and a new beer for Halloween called Silver Ghost.
Allgates Brewery : Core beer range confirmed as The All Black (replacing Mild at Heart), California, Reverend Ray, Napoleons Retreat, Twitter & Bisted, Caskablanca and Yankee Pale Ale. Now brewing a series of beers using New Zealand hops. The beers to date include Maori Dark Mild (ABV 3.6% now known as The All Black), Kiwi's Best Bitter (ABV 4.2%) and Pacific Pale Ale (ABV 4.3%) and their World Cup beer Unkulunkulu (ABV 4.1%). From mid June, Allgates will also distribute Gwent Y Ddraig ciders.
Mayflower Brewery : The brewery has now relocated to a converted barn in Upholland, Skelmersdale. Still using original Mayflower vessels but a third fermenter may be added which will increase production by a third. The first brew is scheduled to take place before the end of the month.
Prospect Brewery : now totally brewing in new brewery in Bradley Lane, Standish, using a purpose built 12 barrel plant. Apart from the core beer range, other brews have included One Twenty (ABV 4.0%), Blinding Light (ABV 4.2%), Big John (ABV 4.8%), Dragon Ale (ABV 4.4%) and Oresome (ABV 3.8%).Their World Cup beer is Egoli (ABV 4.0%).
MARCH / APRIL 2010
All Gates Brewery : The brewery with no beer ? Allgates are featuring in the next Wetherspoons festival that commences on 5 April. Wetherspoons have ordered 350 firkins of Brigantia (ABV 4.0%) which is rebadged Summer Gold with a slight change to the hops to complete this order the brewery stopped brewing all other beers on 28 February and from 1 March has been brewing nothing but this variation of Brigantia. They will continue to do so until they have reached 18 gyles. Though Allgates tried to get enough other beers brewed in advance of this to see them through but have just had two record weeks in sales so currently have very little beer to sell but are taking orders for the end of March onwards. California in particular is selling really well and without doubt is their lead beer and was the beer featured in the Strangers Bar at the Houses of Parliament which made the local news. Weapons of Mash Destruction (WMD) - a 5.7% dark ruby mild brewed especially for Wigan Beer Festival (on a food theme) was well received and came third in the dark beer category. They will probably brew this again next March (possibly under a different name) at around 6.0%. Their new seasonal beer Celtic Pale (ABV 4.0%) brewed almost exclusively with lager malt has also been well received and they will brew this again for the next two months. The April special will be a pale and hoppy 3.9% IPA style and is un-named as yet. Porteresque did not make the final two of the Sainsburys bottled beer competition but the beer was a personal favourite of their buyer. Allgates are now talking to Sainsburys again about supplying the beer on a regional basis to 30-40 stores in the North West. The Jolly Nailor at Atherton is now open selling Allgates beers (plus guests) under the management of Mary formerly of Old Isaacs.
Mayflower Brewery : no news on the progress of the new brewery.
Prospect Brewery : No longer brewing at the garage and the remaining kit has been sold to a new micro brewer (Raw Brewing Company). Change over to new brewery went smoothly. Brewed a new beer called 'One-Twenty' for the Wigan Beer Festival brewed in memory of Patsy’s mother-in-law, Beth Slevin who lived at 120 Wigan Road and where the brewery was first housed. The beer brewed with Cascade hops was well received getting the coveted first place in the light beer category and has been brewed again. Our old favourite Nutty Slack got second place in the dark beer of the festival. Currently brewing the seasonal beer Big John – a 4.8% stout. There are plans to brew Dragon Ale for St. George’s Day.
JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2010
All Gates Brewery : now have a beer on at the House of Commons bar – also now contracted to supply Wetherspoons nationally with a beer called Brigantian.
Mayflower Brewery : not currently brewing as moving to larger premises
Prospect Brewery : Patsy has now moved to new much larger premises on Bradley Hall trading estate – spitting distance from the Crown at Worthington, which is the brewery tap for Prospect. The first brews have been tested and with the increased production at the new plant we should soon be able to enjoy even more Prospect beers in our locals. Patsy is planning a brand new beer to commemorate the memory of her late mother-in-law, without whom there would not have been a Prospect Brewery, and to mark the move to the new brewery. It is hoped that the beer will be launched at the Wigan Beer Festival.