Beer Background
GBBF 2015

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Wilderen is wild with beer, whisky & gin

Wilderen is wild with beer, whisky & gin

Wilderen in Belgian Limburg makes beer, gin and whisky and attracts 100,000 visitors to a complex that includes old farm buildings where gin production in the 18th and 19th centuries was on a grand scale. The company is run by husband-and-wife team Mike Janssens and Roniek Van Bree (pictured) who have brought their brewing and design skills to restoring the old buildings

Added: Thursday, June 25th 2015

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Castle and farm offer great Flanders ale

Castle and farm offer great Flanders ale

Ter Dolen in the Limburg region of Flanders offers the twin delights of a 16th-century castle and a former farmhouse where Abbey beers are brewed. The complex is run by Mieke Desplenter, a member of the famous Belgian brewing dynasty that also has links to Riva, Liefmans and Gruut.

Added: Monday, June 22nd 2015

Feature

Popping up all over: micropub revolution

Popping up all over: micropub revolution

While traditional pubs are closing at an alarming rate, a new type of outlet for beer drinkers has achieved nationwide success. Pop-up pubs are small, utilitarian and based in premises designed for other purposes. Martyn Hiller (pictured) opened the first pop-up pub, the Butchers Arms, in Herne, Kent, 10 years ago and its success should see some 200 small pubs operating by the end of the year.

Added: Thursday, June 18th 2015

Feature

Magna Carta ales: a toast to liberty

Magna Carta ales: a toast to liberty

As celebrations get underway to commemorate the signing of Magna Carta 800 years ago, breweries have produced special beers to mark the occasion. Some use medieval recipes to incorporate such ingredients as rosemary, yarrow and other herbs and spices added at a time when hops were not available or were unknown

Added: Sunday, June 14th 2015

Feature

Home brewers are cutting with the grain

Home brewers are cutting with the grain

Posy Parsons (left) and Claire Russell are bringing full-mash and full-grain brewing to the home with easy to use kits that offer malted barley and hop pellets rather than syrups. They hail from the U.S. and Australia respectively where they fought their way through the fizz to discover good beer and brought their passion to the UK.

Added: Thursday, June 4th 2015

Feature

Tottenham's 'Annie' spurred to success

Tottenham's 'Annie' spurred to success

The Antwerp Arms -- "the Annie" -- in Tottenham, North London, has been saved by its locals. When Enterprise Inns wanted to sell the pub to a property developer, an action group was set up and got the local council to declare the Annie an Asset of Community Value. A co-operative was formed and shareholders raised the cash to buy the pub, which re-opened in April

Added: Thursday, May 21st 2015

Feature

Purity: beer with a clear conscience

Purity: beer with a clear conscience

"Brewing with a conscience" are the watch words at Purity Brewery in Warwickshire. Steam is trapped and recycled while water is fed into a wetland system of ponds and reed beds where algae clean it, return it to the brewery and encourage wild life to develop. The brewery is on a farm and spent grain and hops are used as animal feed and compost. Left, brewer Florent Vialan in the new £1.8m brewhouse

Added: Friday, May 8th 2015

Feature

Ancient inn sticks up for beer choice

Ancient inn sticks up for beer choice

Christo Tofalli has turned beer sales round at Ye Olde Fighting Cocks in St Albans -- officially Britain's oldest pub -- and now serves more cask beer than keg and lager. He specialises in beers from smaller independent breweries but his landlord, giant pubco Mitchells & Butlers, wants him to concentrate on such brands as Doom Bar and London Pride. Who will come out on top?

Added: Wednesday, April 22nd 2015

Feature

'Woodies' on the rise in Yorkshire

'Woodies' on the rise in Yorkshire

The "beers from the wood" quiet revolution is spreading. It started in the Junction pub in Castleford, West Yorkshire, where owners Neil Midgley and Maureen Shaw have now bought the neighbouring pub to spread the woody word. They plan to install a micro-brewery -- with vessels made of oak. In Leeds, Andy Yuill at the Duck & Drake offers beers served in both oak and metal. Pictured, Neil Midgley (right) with cooper Alastair Simms

Added: Friday, April 10th 2015

Feature

How to get well cut in a Merseyside pub

How to get well cut in a Merseyside pub

Scouse wits say you can get half cut in Gallaghers' pub in Birkenhead without touching a drop of booze. Frank and Sue Gallagher (pictured) are professional hairdressers who fancied running a pub. When they took over the derelict Dispensary pub they not only restored it and changed the name but added a barber's shop as well. Now you can enjoy local cask ales and have a short back and sides.

Added: Wednesday, March 25th 2015

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