When news happens, text BAZ and your photos or videos to 80360. Or contact us by email and phone.
Winchester brewery receives warm welcome from mayor
Winchester man Steve Haigh bought his first home brewing kit from Boots when he was just 18. On Monday, in front of family and friends, local businessmen, industry experts, media and the Mayor of Winchester, he realised a dream by launching Alfred’s Brewery at the base in Winnall Valley Road.
“The mayor coming down means a lot. It makes me feel welcome as a new brewer and as a new business here” Mr Haigh said.
Mayor Frank Pearson was on hand to sample the first official glass of Saxon Bronze and said it was high time there were more microbreweries in Winchester. He said: “If anyone asks me what is the brew of Winchester, I will now say: Saxon Bronze.
“The mass market lagers that have marginally more taste than water - that’s not what we’re here for. People have voted with their stomachs.”
And 40-year-old Mr Haigh, of Kings Worthy, has got Alfred’s Brewery off to a strong start in securing the custom of Badger Farm Social Club. Speaking at the launch, club chairman Richard Butler, said: “What can I say? It’s probably one of the best real ales I’ve tried. It’s just a fantastic brewery.”
Mr Haigh developed his skill as a brewer at the Hampshire Brewery in Romsey, The Flowerpots in Cheriton and Hogs Back in Surrey. Branching out on his own was a logical progression for him and something he’s passionate about, but he says he’s still learning. “Maybe when I’m 70-years-old I might be able to sit down and say ‘I know it now. I know all about brewing.’” he said.
Alfred’s Brewery hope to supply local pubs throughout Winchester and will also sell at the Hampshire Farmers' Market from the end of September. The Saxon Bronze will be available for social events such as parties or wedding receptions too.
In the past Winchester has been home to several breweries, including the Chesil Brewery until circa 1920; the Lion Brewery until 1931 and the Hyde Brewery until 1925.