There are over 1700 breweries in the UK of which two are located in within the Borough of Havant. I have been out recently visiting both of them and sampling their excellent local brews.
www.theemsworthbrewhouse.co.uk - This brewery was started in 2015 by Grant Thomas at a private house in Emsworth but has now been sold and relocated to Havant. The brewery is now owned by local entrepreneur and Emsworth resident Jonathan Khoo who has a degree in Product Design and had previously ran a climbing equipment business. Jonathan had been a homebrewer and heard that Emsworth Brewhouse was for sale on Facebook. He has purchased the stainless steel 1.5 barrel plant (475 pints) and has continued to brew to the original recipes. Jonathan works on his own at a small unit in Bedhampton. He brews cask ale for local pubs and bottled beer which can be obtained from local outlets including: Emsworth Delicatessen, Southbourne Farm Shop, Stansted Farm Shop and Vin Wine Merchants, Emsworth. Jonathan likes heavily hopped American IPA style beers but also hopes to introduce new styles of beer. Here are my tasting notes on t
Wodehouse Full bodied English Ale 4.8% abv. - This is a very fine bottle conditioned Bitter made with Barley, Wheat and English hops. It is named after the writer, P G Wodehouse who lived in Emsworth in the years before the First World War. This ale pours a dark ruby colour with a grassy aroma. It is a full flavoured nutty beer which would go well with Fish and Chips.
SkIPA Hoppy American IPA 5.4% abv. - This American style beer pours a light golden colour and has an orangey aroma. The taste reminded me of grapefruit marmalade. It is not as astringent as some US style IPAs. This would go well with Asian food.
Flotilla Fruity Amber Ale 4.4% abv. - This beer pours a ruby colour with a dried fruit aroma. It is a full flavoured bitter with plenty of malt body. A good example of a traditional English bitter which would go well with most meals.
Mainsail Fully Hopped Ale 3.8% abv. - This golden ale has a floral aroma with a citrusy grapefruit flavour. This would make a good session beer to drink on its own.
www.facebook.com/Emsworthbrewery/ - The brewery opened in 2011 and is located at the rear of Emsworth Antiques in West Street, Emsworth. It is run by Ollie Watson and Sam Barron- Bolt. They have a brewing capacity of 2.5 barrels (720 pints). In their small brewhouse there are a number of refurbished wooden milk storage tanks which are used in the various stages of the brewing process. Emsworth brewery currently sells cask ale to local pubs, clubs and beer festivals and also offers draft beer direct to the public. Their bottled beers are available from Emsworth Antiques and Ivy Wines, Main Road, Emsworth. Here are my tasting notes on the bottled beers brewed by Emsworth Brewery.
Hollybank Winter Brew 4.3% abv. - This is a fully flavoured dark beer. It pours a dark brown colour with a caramel aroma. It tastes of chocolate, caramel and malt with great depth of flavour. A Winter Brew is a traditional style of beer similar to Brown Ale, Mild and Winter Warmers. An exceptionally fine tasting beer that would go well with roast beef.
Fairfield Amber 4.2% abv. - A dark amber beer with a caramel aroma and a distinctive smoky, toffee flavour. It is very malt forward beer. This would work well with a beef casserole.
Slipper Session Bitter 3.7% abv. - This is a fully flavoured dark beer which pours a rich ruby red and has a burnt toffee aroma with a fine caramel malt taste. Dark beers are something of a speciality for Emsworth Brewery who should be praised for supporting these traditional full flavoured brews. This would go well with a winter casserole.
Wayfarer Golden Ale 4.2% abv. - This is a pleasant version of a lighter style of ale which offers an alternative to the lager drinker who is seeking a more flavoursome drink. Wayfarer pours a golden colour with a fruity aroma. It has a smooth lemony taste. This beer would go well with a Chinese meal.
LOCAL BEER BOOK - Chichester Pubs by David Muggleton. Amberley. 2017. 99 pp. £14.99
This book arrived too late to be included in my Christmas Beer Book guide but it is so good I did not want to leave reviewing it until the end of the year. David, who is a lecturer at the University of Chichester has already written two fine beer books, Brewing in West Sussex and Brighton Pubs. The book is organised into four tours of the city which help the reader explore 70 pubs, both past and present. Chichester had no fewer than 84 pubs in 1839 but this number had fallen to 41 by 1955. There are currently 22 pubs in Chichester including six which have opened since the Millennium. The book is beautifully illustrated with the author’s own photographs. There is a useful map showing the location of all the pubs mentioned and there is also a comprehensive bibliography. This book would make a great companion to a day out in Chichester.