Friday 15 May, and the intrepid CAMRA bus headed off to Wood Brewery in Wistanstow to celebrate 35 years of brewing, and for the first tour of the brewery for some time.
After a warm welcome by James Owens, Ed Wood (head brewer) and Same Hale (Assistant Brewer) we inspected first the equipment, and then the product!
The equipment has been assembled and extended in several stages, as is normal with smaller artisan breweries. The boil uses stem heating. The brewery produces a stable range of traditional beers which are well known in Shropshire and occasionally beyond as they sometimes supply Wetherspoons, and have a full offering of seasonal beers. They are keen to use British hops including newer and even experimental hops as in their latest offering, Sheer Folly.
The product inspected in the brewery consisted f two new beers, Chestnut Mild (the official 35 years brew) and the aforementioned Sheer Folly (named after and providing funds to nearby Flounders Folly). The Branch were more than happy to raise a glass to our hosts.
We then adjourned to the adjacent Plough Inn, where we were served a further selection of Wood beers and some wonderful (no pun intended) food. Well worth a visit on its own, even if Ed and co. are too busy to show you round.
Wood beers can be bought direct from the brewery or through their website http://www.woodbrewery.co.uk/