BEFORE…. OUR BREWERY Phase 01: 2018
In the now 2 years of brewing at Slainsfield on the Ford and Etal Estate our site has changed and continues to change a lot.
In 2018 we began the first phase of our brewery site development – turning the former North Northumberland Hunt Kennels into our brew house. The buildings had laid dormant for a while so it was in much need of repair and some TLC. Working with the Ford and Etal Estate we transformed this building into the Cheviot Brewery Brewhouse. However with a number of unused buildings around our site, once up and running we wondered how best we could further utilise these existing structures.
Jonny our head brewer designed the brewery system to partially on a gravity drop system to work with the building we had. The images here are of the brewery during the final stages of construction – once the brew kit was in place.
We began brewing summer 2018 but by 2019 we needed more space.
Phase 2 began in Jan 2020 when the adjacent kennel buildings became available as we needed to expand due to an increase in demand.
We required more cold storage and a dedicated area to support bottling and mini cask production. Phase 2’s completion coincided with the start of the Covid-19 lockdown so we were able to utilise this new area well as we had recently opened an online store to cater for home deliveries. This enabled us to produce more bottles, faster than before, which proved useful.
Before we set up Cheviot Brewery our head brewer Jonny was a structural engineer. He designed the brewhouse setup, masterminded the expansion and didn’t stop there. As Covid-19 lockdown reduced our brewing operations Jonny began to plan the next stage of the site development. Just across the yard from the brewhouse was another empty building, not huge, but given the large unused field behind it – it had a lot of potential.
Throughout 2019 we had conducted a few tap days and brewery tours along with visits by CAMRA groups, local beer fans and tourists alike. We didn’t have space in the brewery for a bar nor was it suitable, but that empty building and the field behind it would make a great tap bar and beer garden.
Phase 3, Cheviot Tap was designed and refined in the spring of 2020 and when it was possible, we set about preparing all we could to ensure work could commence in the hope that better times were just around the corner.
Under construction now Cheviot Tap will be our onsite tap bar serving our real ales (and much more besides) that are brewed a few short steps away. With an expansive beer garden social distancing is no problem. The Tap will ultimately serve as the meeting point for tours and events and be among the best places to sample Cheviot Brewery ale.
The tap bar will be complete late August 2020 opening on 30th August.
The tap bar under construction now is a huge example of recycle and reuse and local sourcing.
The new tap bar retains some original features of the kennels, and parts of the old walling still visible.
Rubble from the walls that were removed formed part of the base of the covered areas.
Timber cladding and pergola structure sourced from the Estate saw mill 1 mile down the road.
Logs to make base for tables and chairs from the spruce trees adjacent to the tap bar which were ready for processing by the saw mill.
Gravel sourced from local quarry just over the border.
7 local trade companies used on the project… all based within a 10 mile radius of the brewery.
Lots of wild flowers to be planted encouraging local wildlife
Hops will be grown around the pergolas
South facing site with Sun throughout the day