West Berkshire Brewery Tour
On a Saturday in early April a group of the bar staff from Donnington Valley went to the West Berkshire Ale Brewery in Yattendon for their very popular brewery tour. As we arrived we all were offered a pint of the West Berkshire ales which include: Good Old Boy, Dr Hexters Healer and Mr Chubbs plus a few more, we then waited for another tour to finish while being entertained by the cutest tiny dog called Bertie who had a love for flopping down on to your feet until you stroked her belly. Needless to say this kept me entertained for a while.
As the tour started we were introduced to the head brewer and our tour guide for the day, Will Twomey. Will has been with West Berkshire Brewery since 2006 and became head brewer in 2011. We started by sampling some of the different barley and hops (we didn’t eat the hops, not nice) I can’t say I liked the taste of the barley as mine did make its way to the floor, but you could taste the difference in flavours from caramel to a bitter smokey flavour, all of which all add to the different flavours and characters of the beer.
As we made our way through the brewery, we learnt how the process has been made ‘green’ by reusing the water used utilising a reed bed drainage system. This is a natural treatment system filtering the brewing effluent and returning it to the ground as clean water, it was easy to see that a great deal of care, attention to detail and hard work goes into making all of the ales on offer here. As a bonus and keeping an eye on those ever increasing food miles, almost of all the hops and barley used is sourced from English growers.
The Brewery have also just developed their first lager which is the Isis pilsner which is based on a traditional Bavarian lager, hay coloured with English malts and continental hops adding to the crisp flavour. And if you wanted to try these yourself at Donnington Valley we currently have Good Old Boy on tap and Mr Chubbs Lunchtime Bitter by the bottle. We also often have seasonal beers made by West Berkshire Brewery so make sure to enquire when you next stop by to visit us.