This small family run brewery operates in a quiet wooded valley of the Northumberland countryside just outside Hexham. It operates from a converted garage at the end of the garden of the Dipton Mill Public House, which is owned and managed by the family.
The brewery was established in 1995 and moved to its current premises just this year. It is a 5BBL brewery producing eight staple beers using only British ingredients. Its malt comes from barley grown in Berwick (though malted in Norfolk) and it uses only English hops, mainly Fuggles and Golding. Its water is supplied by Northumbria Water and requires no treatment.
Selling its beers mainly at Dipton Mill and in the surrounding area it manages to produce a wide range of beers and the Beerdrinker and his father-in-law were suitably impressed by Whapweasel, a reasonably strong bitter at 4.8% with an OG of 1048, with strong caramel and toffee flavours. The Beerdrinker (though not his father-in-law) preferred the lighter and fruitier Cragnook Well a pleasant pale ale at 4.0% and OG 1040. All its beers are cask ales, though it has plans to sell its beers in bottles in the near future.
Everything about this brewery is based upon its locality, from the names of the beers, to the sourcing of malt and the use of its waste products by local livestock farmers. The Brewery’s logo is from a woodcarving by the renowned Thomas Bewick, who was himself a son of Tyneside. Unfortunately the barrel depicted in the logo was on its way to the tannery, so would more likely have contained something more akin to commercial lager than to the brews of the Hexhamshire Brewery!
Many thanks to Mark, the enthusiastic and evangelical Head Brewer, proprietor and publican for taking the time show us around.