Campaign for Real Ale

Campaign for Real Ale

Old Nick's Tavern Brewery

Horncastle Ales - A passion for traditional ale, brewing in rural Lincolnshire.

Press release by Colin Vowles, Horncastle, UK - April 14, 2014

Old Nicks Tavern BreweryOld Nicks Tavern Brewery Microbreweries across the UK are generally characterised by their emphasis on flavour, quality and brewing technique, and this ethos is at the core of Horncastle Ales. Located on the premises of Old Nick's Tavern in Horncastle, the heart of the rural Lincolnshire Wolds, Horncastle Ales is the vision of Ross & Sally Ellis.

Ross, Sally and their three daughters moved to Old Nick's Tavern in 2005, and soon turned the pub into one of Lincolnshire's most respected live music venue, hosting live music weekly with bands coming to play locally and from all over the world (from as far away as Australia). Almost instantly Ross and Sally recognised the potential for a microbrewery to be installed within the premises, feeding an already growing passion for traditional real ale. Realising the need to grow the business and having confidence in the potential for a microbrewery, both as a business venture and as a way of raising awareness of traditional ale, Ross and Sally began their exciting project.

According to The Brewers of Europe's EU Report, the growth of the microbrewery sector has 'renewed an interest in the beer category as a whole and re-awakening an interest in the diversity of beer styles and their place in gastronomy'; further reinforcing Ross and Sally's vision of a microbrewery in Horncastle.

When asked why Horncastle needs a microbrewery, Ross Ellis said "The pub industry in general needs to change and adapt to the demands of customers and the public as a whole. With the resurgence of interest in real ale, Sally and I felt that we could meet those changing consumer needs as well as help develop the local economy." With the help of a £50K grant from the East Lindsey District Council's Rural Development Fund this project has been given the stimulus it needed to bring it into operation ahead of time.

Ross went on to say "We plan to source our ingredients locally as well as providing a tourist attraction for ale enthusiasts and real ale 'beginners' alike with brewery tours and a brew day experience, again with the aim to helping boost the local economy and to put Horncastle 'on the map' in terms of real ale production." Although Horncastle Ales is the brainchild of Ross and Sally Ellis, the microbrewery itself will be run by one of their daughters, Elizabeth Ellis. Elizabeth has also been bitten by the 'real ale bug', developing her vast knowledge, extensive skill base and experience at Fulstow Breweries in Louth under the ever watchful eye and tutelage of Phil Ellis (no relation!!). Elizabeth not only brings her wide range of expertise to the brewery, but her very unique charm and charisma, helping make any visit a memorable one. It will also make possible the reintroduction of food in a traditional pub style, increase employment and expanding opening hours, all plusses for the local economy.

"I'm extremely excited about getting the brewery up and running," Elizabeth said "and I'm even more excited about making our very first brew." Elizabeth will head up an 'all-girl' team in the brewery with Alissa Moody and Kayleigh Dobson developing new skills as they learn about being a Brewster (the name given to a female brewer). Elizabeth also brings the Project Venus to Horncastle Ales for its first ever visit to Lincolnshire. The Project Venus is a network of female brewers that collaborate at a host brewery for a single day, exchanging experiences, recipes and stories; all with a view to producing the highest quality ale for distribution via the host pub. In this case, the customers of Old Nick's Tavern will be the lucky recipients of the Project Venus ale.

Horncastle Ales is due to launch in the very near future with the official launch date being Sunday July 27th for local businesses and those who have helped turn the brewery from a vision into a living, breathing entity. Founder members of the Horncastle Ales Brew Club will also be invited to attend the private opening of the brewery where they can expect a tour of the facility as well as a sample of the first ale produced by the brewery. The following week Sunday August 3rd will see the formal opening to the public and unveiling of a personalised plaque with bands and fund raising for the Horncastle Youth Centre.

Anyone is able to join The Horncastle Ales Brew Club, particularly if they have a passion for real ale and wish to meet like minded people. For an annual membership fee of £20, a new member will receive a Horncastle Ales polo-shirt, a loyalty card providing discounted drinks, invitations to sample new ales brewed on site and a newsletter providing information about Horncastle Ales and any upcoming events.

Located in North Street, Horncastle, Old Nick's Tavern is open weekdays 18:00 - 01:00, and weekends 14:00 - 01:00 where both Ross and Sally would be only too happy to take any enquiries regarding Horncastle Ales as well as anything in relation to Old Nick's Tavern. These times will change to full opening hours after the launch of Horncastle Ales

Ross & Sally Ellis, Old Nick's Tavern, North Street, Horncastle, Lincolnshire, LN9 5DX
Tel: 01507 526862, Email: moc.tcennoctb@nrevatskcindlo