Town’s first brewery in a century throws its first festival

Towcester Mill Brewery. From the left, David Williams, Ray Hunt and John Evans. PNL-141109-124331009
Towcester Mill Brewery. From the left, David Williams, Ray Hunt and John Evans. PNL-141109-124331009
0
Have your say

A brewery making waves in a town for the first time in more than 100 years is throwing its first beer festival.

John Evans, Ray Hunt and David Williams decided to take the plunge in May by moving into the Grade II listed mill in Moat Lane, Towcester.

Towcester Mill Brewery. From the left, David Williams, Ray Hunt and John Evans. PNL-141109-124308009

Towcester Mill Brewery. From the left, David Williams, Ray Hunt and John Evans. PNL-141109-124308009

Formerly of Whittlebury Brewery, the trio have been brewing three craft beers at the old mill site while running tours and selling goods from their shop.

But Towcester Mill Brewery will host its first beer festival today and tomorrow to mark a ‘successful first few months of business’.

Mr Williams said: “We’ve had some great feedback to say how much Towcester needed this so we wanted to put on a feel good event.

“That’s what it’s all about and what better way to properly introduce ourselves to the area than to showcase our beers?”

Mr Williams said they decided on an autumn slot so as to not ‘tread on the toes’ of the established Sausage and Cider Festival which took place two weeks ago.

But this weekend’s event is a chance for the brewery – named among the best UK pubs in the Good Beer Guide 2015 – to expand the business.

Although the industry is in a period of uncertainty, the Towcester brewery is confident of becoming a town stalwart.

Its five-barrel beer plant brews nine gallons for each of its three varieties, three times a week while serving them in its tap room and offering the chance to take crates home.

Mr Williams said: “The tap room has exceeded expectations. It’s gone very well.

“We’re at capacity and hoping to upgrade our equipment in the New Year.

“The problem the industry is facing at the moment is that there are more micro-breweries opening each year while the business for sourcing beer into the free house trade is actually shrinking.

“The opportunity to sell it is becoming small, but we’re confident in our future because the difference is we have a multi-functional operation.”

Mr Williams is hoping someone may be able to help bring the historic turbine based water system back to life but it is too expensive to do so at the moment. It is one of only a few across the country.

He added: “Brewing incredibly hard work and it’s a lot more than just selling beer but if they really have a passion for the craft beer movement and their business plan is sound, I’d definitely recommend it.”

The brewery will serve Mexican food today and barbecue food tomorrow, as well as serving 24 real ales and 12 ciders from across the county.

There will be blues and acoustic music playing on both days, a selection of fruit flavoured wines from Dorset on offer and a new fresh green hops beer from Hertfordshire which Mr Williams describes as ‘intensely aromatic’.

Entry is free, you simply buy vouchers for the drinks and it runs from 11am to 11pm today and tomorrow.