Inside Welbeck Abbey Brewery
21 May 2015
Estate records show that ale has been produced at Welbeck for centuries and enjoyed by the family and staff alike. In the 18th century the estate’s brewhouse produced eight hogsheads (4048 pints) of beer at a time. Following on in this timeless tradition and now in its fifth year of operation, Welbeck Abbey Brewery produces over 18,000 pints of hand-crafted beer a week, using only four quality ingredients – malted Maris Otter barley, whole-flower hops from across the world, the estate’s own natural spring water and a unique variety of nurtured yeast.
Led by Claire Monk one of the countries few female brewers, the team are determined to establish themselves as one of the UK’s top micro-breweries, a goal they are well on their way to achieving. In only their fourth year of production the brewery had great success in the 2014 'Champion Beer of Britain' competition at the Derby Beer Festival and earlier this year they were finalists in the 2015 North Notts Business Awards.
Housed in a listed barn in Brewery Yard, the Brewery was established in 2011 by the Welbeck Estates Company with Claire at the helm as head brewer. Having studied microbiology and bio-chemistry at Sheffield University, Claire then trained as a brewer at the award-wining Kelham Island Brewery in Sheffield. Today a dedicated team of five staff support Claire, assisting her with everything from accounting to daily deliveries to the regions finest pubs. Local lad, James Gladman oversees most of the Brewery’s busy production schedule, churning out five of the Brewery’s core beers and three monthly specials five days a week. This leaves Claire time to focus on future plans for the Brewery and to host educational events for local schools, charities and CAMRA groups. During this year’s Sheffield Science week, the Brewery worked with Sheffield Hallam University and Doncaster CAMRA to host practical workshops that focused on the science behind beer and brewing. Claire and the team are strongly committed to giving back to the local community and enjoy passing on their specialist knowledge and joy of learning.
Whilst the Brewery has grown quickly in the last four years, Claire and the team are keen not to move away from this hand-crafted, caring ethos. They are looking to grow the business through the addition of carefully positioned top quality pubs, the first of which is set to be located in Sheffield, on the popular Ecclesall Road. For details of this and other exciting Welbeck Abbey Brewery developments make sure to follow Claire and the team online.
Interested in a tour of the Brewery? The team now host Brewery tours on the second Monday of each month. Tickets are £7.50 and are available for purchase from the Welbeck Farm Shop or by contacting the Brewery. Visit www.welbeck.co.uk/experience/events/ for brewery tour dates and further details.
Welbeck Abbey Brewery hand-crafted real ales are available for purchase direct from the Brewery and from the Welbeck Farm Shop.
Welbeck Abbey Brewery