Fenman visits Austendyke Brewery
Austendyke Ales Brewery is unique in every sense of the word, as Fenland's BLO found out on a recent visit there.
The brewery started in 2012 although Charlie Rawlings has been brewing for many years prior to that, when he was involved in agricultural contracting. The 7 barrel plant was made by Charlie himself (converted from food industry vessels), as was the cask washer. The cask storage cooler is a converted supermarket van - again Charlie's innovation. The spent grains from the mash tun have the shortest air miles to all of 100 yards to Charlie's Lincoln Reds in the adjacent field.
The Chequers at Weston not only have Austendyke Ales beers on offer, but also beef from the farm in the restaurant, via local slaughterhouse and butcher. On the day of the visit the beer being brewed was Hogsgate, a 5% traditional copper ale. Hops for this brew include Challenger, Goldings and Marynka.
As if all this isn't enough to fill Charlie's day he is also building a small brew plant which he intends to sell when completed. The family also run a B&B which uses their home grown produce such as tomatoes, eggs from their chickens and honey from their bees.
So, as you will see, there's a lot more to Austendyke Ales than just their tasty ales and their excellent micro pub Prior's Oven.