Saturday 2 July 2022

A visit to Beavertown's breweries

I leapt at the chance to visit Beavertown's breweries. As founder members of the United Craft Brewers, an organisation whose importance to British brewing cannot be understated, I was very curious to see what can be achieved with little more than passion, millionaire parents and selling a big chunk to a multinational mega-brewery. 

The site looked big to me, though one of people I spoke to there says it's nothing compared to full size industrial brewery.

The automated brewhouse has a brew length of 150hl and is in theory capable of 12 brews a day (that's a lot for a lauter tun, the slowest step) but I was told they've only gone up to 11. Still pushing it to call it craft if you ask me!

They've still clearly had some problems though judging by the bags of rice hulls. These are added to the mash to help separate the wort from the grains, particularly if using lots of difficult grains like oats. I first came across this idea from homebrewers so maybe they are still a bit crafty.

The MCV in action:

The Lauter Tun filling:

A rolling boil:

Fully automated yeast propagation plant:

If I remember rightly they use four yeasts to make five beers here: Gamma Ray and Neck Oil (assuming they're different beers), Lagunitas IPA, a lager and a hazy pale ale. The dry hopping is automated too, 

CIP (Clean In Place) tanks:

Warehouse space:

We then moved on to their older and small brewery, which they've kept going:

This definitely looked more craft.

Barrel aged beers:

Canning line:

Fermenting vessels:

Mash tun:

The mash tun is dug out by hand, so definitely craft. They have a 50hl brew length and brew four times a day, running 18 hours a day. 

We had some pizza here and a beer or two to wash it down. OK, two. Then I headed home, it was a bit of a trek. 


Some exciting details I missed in the report in the IBD mag:

12m diameter lauter tun
14.5 m diameter whirlpool to cope with the hops
160kph kegging line filling 30L kegs (now stopped doing 50L) soon to be expanded to 240kph by adding a new lane
30,000cph canning line doing 330 and 440ml in 4, 6, 12 and 24 packs


  1. "See what can be achieved with little more than passion, millionaire parents and selling a big chunk to a multinational mega-brewery. "

    Gamma Ray seems to pop up a lot in pubs that aren't too fussed about cask (Shepherd Neame, our local in Sheffield), and they're still good (if more carbonated than I remember), but it's Lupuloid I miss.

    1. Never been a fan of Spitfire but Master Brew has grown on me. As far as Beavertown goes I preferred the Neck Oil, Gamma Ray seemed very similar but more alcoholic.