Stony Ford Brewery in Ryhall, Rutland is to close

We’re closing down,
at least for now

 

 

 

Stoney Ford to cease brewing

We regret to inform our customers and supporters that we have decided to take a break from brewing and are having a fundamental rethink about the future of the business and its location.

Our current brewery location is restricted in size and not available nor viable in the longer term.  Despite our best efforts over several months we have been unable to identify suitable premises for expansion nor develop a viable business plan that makes financial sense.

Launching Stoney Ford in May 2016 was an experiment at a small scale (2.5 bbl), with the intention of proving whether or not we could brew beer consistently and establish a brand, before growing it into a more substantial business. We are proud of the beers and the brand we have developed but we haven’t managed to take the next major growth step.

The business has paid its way and has no debts, and we will continue to trade until current stocks have been sold (end of this week) and we have collected our empties. It is possible that our beers and brand may reappear sometime in the future in another guise, but for now we are closing the doors on our Ryhall Brewery.

We would like to say thanks to our local customers and supporters for their loyalty and business and apologise for the disappointment that Stoney Ford will no longer be available, at least in the short to medium term. We will of course share further news on the future of the brewery as and when we have it.

Tim Nicol and Simon Watson
5th April 2018

Leicester Beer Festival .Oh! The Drama. Pun intended.

The darkness of Leicester Beer Festival

I had the usual pleasure of working at the Leicester Beer Festival this March. I say the usual, but it was anything but usual, as they had changed venue to the re- opened Haymarket Theatre in the city Centre. When I say re-opened I mean nearly re- opened as it was still ‘work in progress’ with lifts, steps and some behind the scenes walls still in various states of readiness.

The venue could not have been more different as the festival bar was on the theatre’s huge stage, surrounded by theatre seating and lots of steps all illuminated by blue lighting. There was no natural light so it did feel a bit like walking into a massive cave!

BUT, the curry was there and excellent, and of course their legendary massive selection of beers and ciders, with a gin bar, with groovy glasses, and a mead bar. To completely upset some traditionalists there was also a ‘keykeg’ bar. OOER!

The general view was this is a brave attempt to move the festival on, and that it had generally succeeded in this; and that assuming the festival remains at the Haymarket for a few years, it can overcome its ‘teething’ problems and really take the whole project forward. One such problem was the lighting with 90% of the bar flooded in bright light, whist 10% (my bit) was in gloom with beer being poured in semi darkness, and payment cards being marked in a semi braille exercise. Oh how we laughed!

 

My beer of the festival? I could not choose between Five Points (London) ‘Railway Porter’ absolutely fab, and Wylam (Newcastle)  ‘Macciato’. It will be no surprise to those who know me to find that these were both very dark beers.

Well done Leicester CAMRA for taking a brave step into the future.

 

Dave Casewell

Branch Thespian

New mini guide to Rutland is published

Discover Rutland, which Rutland CAMRA is part of,  has produced a new guide to the county.

The guide also includes maps and money saving vouchers.

Available extensively across the county it can be down loaded here:

www.discover-rutland.co.uk/useful-info/mini-guide

 

 

Tiny Pint 17 will be out soon

Our Branch Magazine the “Tiny Pint” will be hitting a bar top near you soon. We pay tribute to dear John Wood, celebrate trips out of Rutland and praise our award winning brewers. We look at ornithology and names of beer. Like us – real mash up but hopefully fun.

We are alway looking for ber/cider/pub related articles and good quality pictures send them to me: Jon Whowell chairman@rutlandcamra.org.uk

Green Dragon, Ryhall is 2018 Pub Of The Year

The Rutland CAMRA Pub Of The Year (POTY –  we love an acronym) 2018 goes to the Green Dragon in Ryhall. This is the second time that Shaun and Debbie Rolfe, Landlord and Landlady, their team and customers have been recognised as the best pub in the county.

With four hand pumps the Dragon is described in the Good Beer Guide as a Former Melbourns stone built pub in the heart of the village. The Main building is Grade II Listed and was built in the 17th Century and gives the Green Dragon Pub a nice cosy feel with its low ceilings and nooks and crannies. Superb home cooked meals are served and as the pub has it’s own pizza oven these are a speciality of the house and served daily.

David Laughton, Pubs Officer said “The Dragon is what it a pub should be: welcoming, friendly and at the heart of the community. They kindly offer card carrying CAMRA members a 20p discount on real ale and run a very successful beer festival usually held in May. Well worth a visit.”

Landlady, Debbie Rolfe said:  “We are delighted to get the POTY again. It means a great deal to all of us here, Shaun and I are very pleased to accept this award which means a great deal to staff and customers alike. CAMRA is doing a great job in helping pubs like us remain the real heart of the community.”

David Laughton, Pubs Officer Rutland CAMRA, left, presents Shaun & Debbie Rolfe with their Pub of the year certificate.

Empingham Cricket Club Beer Festival Beer list

REAL ALE LIST FOR EMPINGHAM CSC BEER FESTIVAL  15th – 18th March 2018.

THIS LIST WAS CORRECT AT THE TIME OF ‘GOING TO PRESS’!

CHANGES MAY OCCUR DUE TO UNFORESEEN CIRCUMSTANCES.

BAKERS DOZEN MAGIC POTION #8  3.8%  BLONDE

BEERMATS PRAGMATIC  3.8%  AMBER

BORN IN THE BORDERS GAME BIRD  4.0%  AMBER

DOWNTON CEREBUS  4.2%  TRAD

FERRY ALES WOODWOSE  4.0%  RED

FURNACE REPRAZENT  4.2%  BLONDE

GREG’S SCAMPTON ALE 3.6%  BLONDE

HOPJACKER AUTOMETALOGOLEX  4.0%  BLONDE

IMPERIAL CITRA SEN DOWN  4.4%  BLONDE  *Festival Special

IMPERIAL WHET THI’ WHISTLE  5.0%   BLONDE

NEEPSEND LACUNA  3.8%  BLONDE

PIGEON FISHERS TROPICAL MASH  4.3%  BLONDE

PROBLEM CHILD RAPSCALLION  4.2%  TRAD

RAW BROWN COW BITTER  3.8%  TRAD

ROOSTERS FRANKLIN  4.3%  BLONDE

SALEM BREW CO. GRASS SNAKE  4.1%  BLONDE

STONEYFORD ERMINE ST EASY ALE  2.8%  BLONDE

TENBY BAREFOOT BLONDE  4.7%  BLONDE

WELDON ROMAN MOSAICS  4.6%  BLONDE

WYLAM HICKEY THE RAKE  4.2%  BLONDE

RESERVES:-

FURNACE CASCADE  4.4%  BLONDE

MAGPIE BEST  4.2%  TRAD

NENE VALLEY MANHATTAN PROJECT  4.0%  BLONDE

SHINY 4WOOD  4.5%  TRAD

 

 

What’s in a name?

Sorting out some old Tee Shirts ..it’s a bit like the sock drawer exercise… I came across an old Leicester Beer Festival shirt from 2011 which was ‘celebrating’ the introduction of decimal currency with a made up ‘slate’ of beers and prices from 1971, and YES I do remember!  Whilst the prices were of interest, it was the NAMES of the beers that immediately struck

  • Ansells Mild ……….1/11d
  • Ruddles Bitter…. 2/1d
  • Home Ales Bitter … 2/-
  • Shipstones Mild… 1/ 9 ½d

I then delved into a pile of old Beer Festival Guides (this one from Peterborough 2017) to find the following

  • Horncastle’s ‘Total Chaos’
  • Kennet & Avon ‘Wilcot Wide’
  • Roosters ‘Roots, Rock, Reggae’
  • Three Blind Mice ‘Four Go Wild in the Fens’
  • Bexar County ‘Bitter invention of Satan’

This was a random sample, and only in one did I find any mention of beer style! Now then , is this a good or bad thing? There have been well documented  examples of offensive beer names, even in the House of Commons bar, and un- pronounceable Welsh beers (well…to us English). I am not making a point of beer quality in my examples which I’m sure was sound.

Now of  course there are examples of plain naming, but I suppose you can argue that a plain name equals a boring un- inventive beer. Is that so? What’s wrong with a straight forward Casewell’s Bitter? Does beer have to have hops from Patagonia, yeast from Ursa Minor, and Barley (organic of course) from the dark side of the moon for it to be interesting? I merely raise the question and raise a glass of Stoneyford’s ‘ Sheepmarket Supernova’ to you all…and very good it is too.

Send your response to our Chair!

Dave Casewell

Branch Historian

Dave Casewell, he does smile now and then – this is his Wanted poster look.

PS Leicester Beer Festival is on 7th to 10th March for more info see our Events page.

Rutland Brewers gain Regional Recognition

The Grainstore Brewery in Oakham and Baker’s Dozen in Ketton have had their hard work recognised for producing excellent real ales at recent Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) festivals. CAMRA has around 200,000 members in the United Kingdom and has been protecting real ale and cider in real pubs for over 40 years.

Dean Baker, Head Brewer of Baker’s Dozen, has built up an enviable reputation for producing quality ales enjoyed by a wide audience.  Their Electric Landlady secured Gold in the Golden Ales category in the Champion Beer of Britain East Midlands region finals. The Pump clip is believed to be based on Jill Perkins, Dean’s partner and landlady of the Jolly Brewer where Baker’s Dozen is a permanent feature

The Grainstore was awarded Bronze in the Barley Wine Strong Old Ale Category in the Champion Beer of Britain East Midlands region finals. The pump clip shows a more than striking resemblance of Grainstore’s founder Tony Davis. Grainstore is increasing its market share across the country.

Jon Whowell, Chairman of Rutland CAMRA said “For such a small county it is remarkable that we sustain so many good pubs. Along with our recent award winners: Grainstore and Baker’s Dozen – we are also blessed to have Stoney Ford in Ryhall that is getting appreciated by an increasing customer base. Congratulations to all involved in brewing here in Rutland”

Dean Baker, Head Brewer Bakers Dozen with his Gold award for his popular Electric Landlady brewed in Ketton

 

William Davis, Owner/Director Grainstore Brewery, accepts his Bronze award for The Nip at the Grainstore Brewery in Oakham.

Pics © Jon Whowell  Chair@rutlandcamra.org.uk

Somethings never really change

Picture shows The  “Old Bird” and her flock in Derby .

Somethings never really change!  I courted the “Old Bird” many years ago, when she was a young bird – slim, blonde and very attractive.  We would go out to a local hostelry, often by car but sometimes on foot.  When driving, I would ask for a pint and a half of beer.  The bar person would always put the pint in front of me and the half in front of the young bird.  This was followed by a hand moving across in front of me and picking up the pint (so justifying her comment in her first article in the “Tiny Pint” – “Girls like pints as well”.)  As a result of this, I was left with the half!  This was probably a good thing, even though it was before the Drink/Drive laws.  Over time, the situation has not changed, though sometimes she would have the half and drive and I had the pint.  (Occasionally the world smiled on me.)  On foot, I used to ask for 2 pints – 1 each!

She has a very good palate such that I ask her what she thinks of a beer’s condition if I feel that something is not right (including me – sometimes a beer doesn’t taste “right” but it is my taste buds that are wrong.)  However, it used to make me so proud, and still does, when I see her with a pint!

Nick Holford The “Old Bird’s Beau” – her posh name for a miserable old b****r like me!

 

 

Four Go Dambustin’

 

Starring Jon Whowell, Dave Laughton, Russ Hibbitt & Jon Watson.

The four intrepid adventurers passed our County border, at 11.00am on Saturday 17th February, bound for the Lincoln and Newark areas on a mission to return empty casks and collect or swap ales for the Empingham CSC Beer Festival.
First stop was the delightful Dambusters Inn in Scampton. The pub is full of memorabilia from the Dambusters Squadron formerly based at RAF Scampton and also from the Red Arrows, current residents of the base.

Here, we sampled Scampton Ale and Dambusters Ale brewed behind the pub by Landlord, Greg Algar, in the center of the above picture clutching his Tiny Pint.

Greg is passionate about both the memorabilia and his ale and provided enlightening information about photos, medals and ensigns that adorn the walls. We swapped a cask for a cask of Scampton Ale. How will I get my empty back? enquired Greg. Don’t worry Greg, we will be back!!

Onto Lincoln’s Jolly Brewer to swap ales from Horncastle (Wicked Blonde) and Ferry Ales (Wodewose and Spirit of Jane). Ales sampled here were Great Newsome Stoggy, Welbeck Abbey Henrietta and 3 Piers Golden Smiler, all were in good order.

A lunch of exceptional value was consumed and we were joined for lunch and a pint by George Hibbitt, a ‘poor’ Lincoln University student and newly renewed Rutland CAMRA member. (His Dad paid for that too!!)

Next stop was to be Beermats Brewery near Southwell. However, they delivered to Empingham on the previous Thursday, so a visit to Just Beer micropub in Newark town centre was hastily substituted into the itinerary. A gem of a place supplying us with Hill Top Golden and North Riding US IPA. Deciding against a second pint here or a walk across the road to the Flying Circus due to time constraints, we moved on to our final venue outside of Rutland, the Cross Keys at Upton.

Landlord and brewer at Mallard Brewery, Steve Hussey, was delayed by an unexpected afternoon nap. So, whilst waiting, the 3 adventurers tried his Mallard Golden Duck and our Pubs Officer chose Mallard Drake. Again all beers in fine fettle! Empties returned and with a new Golden Duck and Nottingham EPA on board, we pointed the vehicle South on the A1 and after an hour pulled up outside the Green Dragon at Ryhall for our last tipple of the trip.

A lovely day out and a great adventure. All the venues are worth a visit but if you choose just one, please make it the Dambusters Inn. You will not be disappointed!

 

Russ Hibbitt Rutland CAMRA Drayman