Brewery site development continues Phase 1-3


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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.

PART 01:

The view from the fermentation room into brew house pre build

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.

The brew house pre build

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.

The kit arrives at Slainsfield
Kettle installed on upper level

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.

Tap bar site using existing building in the early stages of the build

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.

Jonny living every kids dream.

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.

Roof for covered outdoor areas being erected

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.

Tap bar still in progress from south with hop pergolas made from wood from the woodland to the south of the bar

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

ETale – Award Winner and Bradford Beer Festival 2020


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Cheviot Brewery were over the moon to find out that Etale, has picked up an award at the Bradford Beer Festival 2020. Our 4% Dark Bitter was voted as the best beer in the “up to 4%” category by the attendees of Bradford Beer Festival run by Bradford CAMRA.

The event, held in Saltaire’s Victoria Hall, showcased over 130 ales from up and down the country. Cheviot Brewery had 3 beers at the Festival, Etale, Keep The Crust (our collaboration with Northern Soul Kitchen in Berwick) and our Oatmeal Stout Black Hag.

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Jonny and Pete picked up the award in Bradford on Sunday 8th March alongside the other award winners.

As a very traditional style, ETale has been winning fans up and down the North East and especially in our pub The Black Bull in Etal where the beer debuted.

2020 looks like another year of excitement for Cheviot Brewery with some development happening at the brew house to help us further fine tune some operations, and lots of events and new beers in the planning.

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Trig Point


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We launched another new beer May Bank Holiday weekend, Trig Point a US hopped citrus session IPA.

Aromatic and hoppy with a grapefruit finish we once again teamed up with The Curfew Micropub in Berwick to debut our new beer. This time at their Spring Beer Festival. It didn’t last very long mind thankfully there were lots of other quality ales on that weekend too so drinkers who missed the first day were not too disappointed to miss Trig Point.

This new beer is as much down to our own tastes as the demand from our loyal Cheviot drinkers explains our head brewer, Jonathan Hodgson:

“Whilst out and about we are often asked whether we have any plans to brew a citrus pale. Not wishing to disappoint we pencilled this new ale in for a Spring launch straight away. We always aim to make refreshingly drinkable beer, and Trig Point should be no exception sitting nicely amongst our current range whilst ticking the box for the hoppy IPA fans”

 

Now on general release in cask after its debut in Berwick look out for it in some quality establishments across the North East and beyond. Bottles coming soon too.

Trigpoint on bar

Tap Day #01


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On April 6th we hosted our first brewery tap day up at our brewhouse in Slainsfield on the Ford and Etal estate. Despite the less than ideal weather the brewery was very busy with lots of pints being pulled. It was great to meet so many of our local ale fans, some new friends, some old friends, all were welcome.

With four of our ales on hand pull served in the fermentation room and Liz running a great BBQ outside the chat and the laughs were as free flowing as the beer.

Such a great day, we thank all that came and all that supported the event and helped out. We will be holding another one soon as with our first birthday coming up we have reason to celebrate, but who needs a reason eh?

Introducing Holy Bounty.


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An exciting new collaboration has been brewing in North Northumberland. Over 600 years of heritage has gone into our new beer, HOLY BOUNTY, a Lindisfarne Oyster Stout brewed with Lindisfarne Oysters, grown on the Oyster beds set up in the 14th Century by the Monks of Holy Island.

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Oysters used in the creation of a stout reduce the dryness and add to the clarification and smoothness of the drink. Whilst some Oyster Stouts do not contain any oysters at all, they are often so named as they go well with shellfish dishes and were regularly drunk with oysters in pubs in the Victorian era. With such a prestigious producer close by, we wanted to work with Lindisfarne Oysters to create a modern version of a classic style.

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The Magic Ingredient – Lindisfarne Oysters

Our head brewer Jonny is always looking to use local produce in our ales wherever possible. With a fantastic product like Lindisfarne Oysters on our doorstep it seemed too good an opportunity to miss. There is a real intrigue around an oyster stout made using real oysters,

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JH Snr, giving us a helping hand (as always)

Holy Bounty is possibly our most local or brews. As always it uses local Simpsons malt in its recipe. But also wheat from a farm less than 10 miles away and crushed down the road at Heatherslaw Mill.

Holy Bounty, will have its first pour at The Curfew Micropub in Berwick’s “Winter and Belgian Beer Festival” that runs from Friday 8th to Sunday 10th February 2019 featuring over 20 cask beers plus special Belgian beers on bottles and keg.

Gemma Cook from The Curfew Micropub is looking forward to having Holy Bounty on their bar. “We are very excited to be offering the first pour of “Holy Bounty” at our Winter & Belgian Beer Festival. Cheviot Brewery have hit the ground running since starting up in 2018 with a great range of excellent beers. Showcasing the new brew here at our festival shows the high esteem we hold Cheviot in!”

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It is great to be debuting the beer in Berwick at The Curfew, who regularly have our other beers on their bar. Our aim has always been to celebrate Northumberland, and Holy Bounty not only celebrates the produce of the county but also its heritage and landscape.

After the festival, Cheviot Brewery will also be supplying Holy Bounty to pubs and bottle shops throughout the North East and beyond.

6 Months of Brewing. A Thank You.


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How time flies. It doesn’t seem two minutes since we took our first delivery of Simpsons Malt and christened our malt shovel, but apparently as of Friday the 11th of January it is 6 months. 6 months since we brewed Gyle: CB001, or “The Schil” as it came to be known.

Much has happened since that first beer hit the fermenters in the evening of that first protracted brew day. We have brewed a few more beers, a few more times, we have served thousands of pints and delivered hundreds of casks and bottles to pubs, bars, shops and hotels in the North East and beyond.

40616799_302204873695612_3622956054075146240_nWhilst 6 months isn’t a long time, when you have been planning and setting up a brewery for 3 and a half years, to be half a year into actually brewing, it does create a moment of reflection. That reflection takes us to the people and organisations that have been a part of the journey, and who deserve our thanks. And, as it is coming up on the awards season, it would be rude not to give a long list of thanks, so here goes…

Firstly, Ford & Etal Estate for their support and belief in our brewery project, for making a location available and for transforming a run down building into our home on this marvellous estate. Thanks to Robert Fairnington (aka Bob the Builder) and his team for doing this fabulous transformation along with J Slater Electrical, Hillside Plumbing and M Fairnington Engineering.

AJT Construction for their superb pipework, a thing of beauty that carries our precious nectar around the brew house. Thanks to Barmoor Castle for having us supply their big unveiling and test our beers on their gathered guests.

We are full of thanks for the other breweries who gave us their advice and their time. Old Spot Brewery, Goose Eye Brewery and Bear Claw. We have found the brewing community to be so welcoming and helpful but these three breweries have given so much of their time and expertise to help us make Cheviot Brewery what it is.

We have supplied, and continue to supply, so many great pubs, too numerous to mention all of them but special mentions go out to a handful of pubs and sellers that have given us great support (and orders).

Thank you (in alphabetical order) 6 Barrels, Allanton Inn (Allanton), The Barrels Ale House (Berwick), Beer Craft (Kelso), The Black Bull (Etal), The Black Bull (Lowick), Black Bull Inn (Duns) The Border Hotel (Yetholm), The Craw Inn (Auchencrow), The Curfew (Bewick), The Dambusters Inn (Scampton), The Fighting Cock (Bradford), First & Last (Burnmouth), Ford Village Shop, Foundry Hill Bar (Bingley), The Greedy Pig (Bradford), Lowick Village Store, The Narrow Nick (Rothbury), Northumbria National Park Authority, The Office (Morpeth), The Percy Arms (Chatton), The Pilot (Berwick), The Quakerhouse (Darlington) and The Red Lions of Alnmouth and Milfield, SJF Pubs, Taste of Northumbria (to name but a few).

Huge thanks go to our drinkers, some of whom we know by name, some of whom we may never meet. Thank you for those who were and are supporting local, for those who just like the pump clips or on the design on the bottle. Thank you especially to those who had a pint, then ordered another, and sometimes more still. Thanks not only for drinking our beer, but for drinking independent real ale and craft beer in general, cheers to you all.

And finally thank you to all our friends, family, neighbours and acquaintances whom have supported us, believed in us, volunteered their time and encouraged us along the way.

So raise a glass and drink a toast to yourselves, the next six months, and beyond.

Cheers,

Pete, Jonny & Neil

PS: Exciting New Beer news soon…

Beer Festivals, Bottled Ales and New Brews – October Update


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Our last post was prior to the Berwick Food and Beer Festival at the start of September and a lot has happened since then… Our festival debut was fantastic, not only did we have a lot of friends and family come and support the brewery at the event, but we made lots of new friends and introduced a lot of people to Cheviot Brewery and our ales. Our session pale Harbour Wall debuted at the festival and since then has established itself as a regular ale with us brewing it regularly now alongside Upland Ale on regular rotation. Menhir and Flodden Thirst continued to prove popular and have garnered quite a following especially with Berwick drinkers.

40616799_302204873695612_3622956054075146240_nPete & Jonny on the Bar at Berwick Beer Festival 2018

Since then, Cheviot Brewery was selected for, and enjoyed at the York Beer Festival, where The Schil, Upland Ale and Menhir made up 3 of the over 500 beers on offer at this huge event. And just last weekend the excellent Red Lion Inn at Alnmouth (which we are proud to supply regularly) held their beer festival in aid of Hospice Care North Northumberland and we were pleased to donate a cask of or newest ale to the event.

A new ale you say! Indeed, an oatmeal stout named Black Hag has been popping up on Northumbrian bars over the last few weeks. The response to Black Hag has been excellent from pubs, drinkers and even other brewers, and we will be brewing it again soon. Black Hag is also one of the first ales to be available not just as a cask ale, but now also in 500ml bottles. Upland Ale, Harbour Wall, The Schil and Black Hag are now available to buy as bottled ales at events and also from retailers, cafes and other good stockists (details to follow on our Where to Drink Page), either as single bottles or as gift packs with or without a Cheviot Brewery pint glass.

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Our latest brew, a 5 malt oatmeal stout!

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Our new bottle range.

Now four months into brewing we are delighted with the response our ales have been having not just in Northumbria but further afield at great pubs across the North East, Yorkshire and now also the East Midlands.

With some more events coming up in the coming weeks and a very special delivery on the cards very soon, there is much more exciting news in the making, so stay tuned…

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A NEIGHbourly visit from Hay Farm Heavy Horse Centre to collect our spent malt which the horses love as a feed.

Berwick Beer Festival


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Over the last couple of weeks we have been preparing for this years edition of the excellent Berwick Food and Beer Festival. We have been extremely interested visitors to the festival in recent years and we knew that once Cheviot Brewery was up and running we wanted to be part of it. So when we were given the chance to be part of it we jumped at it.

What can people expect from Cheviot Brewery at the festival? Well, as well as our now established beers, Upland Ale, Flodden Thirst, The Schil & Menhir, that have been on the bar in many of Berwick’s pubs over the last 6 weeks since our first brew; we have a brand new brew to launch at the festival. Harbour Wall is an easy drinking session pale ale zesty pale ale with tropical fruit and pine tones. If you loved Flodden Thirst you will enjoy Harbour Wall.

We are delighted to be pitching up our stall amongst other great local breweries in the North East and Scotland. We are really excited to be showcasing our ale alongside them. We can’t wait to introduce festival goers to Cheviot Brewery and our ales. We are proud of what we have created and can think of no better way than exhibiting at the Berwick Food and Beer Festival to bring our beers to such a wide audience.

Berwick Beer and Food Festival opens for Ale at 5pm on Friday 31st August and runs all day Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd of September.

We will also be in attendance on Sunday 2nd of September at the Etal Show.

Bewrick beer fest line up logos

 

Pints in Pubs


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Six weeks since our first brew was put into the fermenters seems like an age ago. It has been full steam ahead since July with Cheviot Brewery now, after over 3 years of planning and preparation, up and running and in full swing. With 4 different ales (soon to be 5) on cask, being sampled and enjoyed in ale houses from Northumberland to West Yorkshire, its been a busy first few weeks up at Slainsfield.

For our debut the folk at Barmoor Castle invited us to provide the bar for the opening of their new building Hedley Hall. Not only was it to be the first time our ale would be tasted by the public but we christened our pop-up bar and new pumps at the same time. With three ales on offer including an exclusive bitter, Barmoor Brew, we were hoping for a good response and some feedback on our first ales. Nearly 400 pints later… we realised that we had some good ales on our hands, and it wasn’t just our taste buds that thought so.

A pint of Flodden Thirst, and the Pop-Up Bar at Cheviot Brewery’s debut at Barmoor Castle.

We were extremely buoyed by the reception at Barmoor, and the fact that quite a few establishments were already knocking on the door to stock our first brews; so we got in the van and started delivering casks, and they went down well. Our local, the Black Bull in Etal sold out of their first cask of Cheviot Brewery ale, “Flodden Thirst” in 24 hours. The excellent Black Bull at Lowick had a similar experience, and a positive reception with drinkers in the Berwick pubs including the Curfew and Barrels Ale House meant that even more people were starting to talk about Cheviot Brewery, but more importantly, drink our ales.

Our opening trio of ales were:
Flodden Thirst, a light zesty and refreshing pale. Menhir a rich, dark coffee Stout , and an extra special 6% bitter, The Schil.

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Within a couple of weeks we added a solid 3.8% copper bitter to the stable, Upland Ale, which has already gained a good following in town centre bars and country pubs alike.

Whilst these first 6 weeks have been exciting and pretty full on, we have managed to pop into a few hostelries and see how our ale is going down, and have been very pleased with the response. And with our second batch of Upland Ale about to go out, and a new pale following very soon behind, you may think that we would get a chance to catch our breath? However, with Berwick Beer and Food Festival and the Etal Show coming up next week… we’ve got some work to do.

We hope to see you there…

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A couple of well received pints of Menhir in the Curfew, Berwick-upon-Tweed.

Building Update


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It’s getting very close now. There is a faint smell of malt on the breeze. The major building work is done, the vessels are all in place, the pipework done, fire system installed, 3 phase power in, just some plumbing, final fixings and snags to sort out and then its deep clean time.

It has been a heck of a journey to get to this point and we are so very lucky to have this amazing space to call our home to brew some proper beer in.

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Here is a few shots of our fermentation room and cask wash area now and during the build (below)

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The new upstairs with the kettle is looking great especially from the large empty single floor space before.

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Orders are already coming in for our first releases… so keep your eyes peeled for info of our first brews and where you can sample it.

Plans are a foot for a “launch” event and some appearances at public events but we will announce these in time.

Really getting thirsty now…