Dick’s brewing up a storm in Oundle

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A brewery which brought beer production to Oundle for the first time in 50 years has enjoyed a successful first six weeks of business.

Nene Valley Brewery produced its first pints from its new Oundle Wharf home on September 19, exactly half a century since Smith’s brewery closed.

Dick Simpson, a director at the brewery, said residents of the town had given the brewery a big thumbs up.

He said: “It’s about re-establishing brewing in a town that used to be famous for it.

“It’s surprising how many people want to come down and see the brewery.

“It’s attracting a lot of attention.

Before it was taken over by the brewery, Oundle Wharf was dilapidated.

Mr Simpson added: “We found premises in Oundle which is just where we wanted to be.

“It used to be very dreary and I hope we have cheered it up a bit.

“Hundreds of people have said we have made it nice.”

The brewery was first set up in the summer of 2011, from an outbuilding in Mr Simpson’s back garden.

As more and more orders were taken, the decision was taken to upsize, and Mr Simpson says the decision to move to their current headquarters has been part of the continued growth in popularity of their products, which Mr Simpson says have gone down well with customers.

He said: “It’s about image and branding, but most of all about the beer, because if the people in the pub won’t drink it, ultimately you won’t sell beer.

“When someone you don’t know comes in and says ‘I had a pint of your beer, it was fantastic’, it gives you a real buzz.

“We do our utmost to get the flavour as distinctive as we can without getting it so people are put off and don’t drink it.

“We are trying to be interesting without putting people off by being too weird.”

Nene Valley Brewery has been on sale in about 40 pubs, as well as at Oundle Town Football Club, and Mr Simpson hopes the festive season will see another spike in sales.

He added: “We are hoping at Christmas we’ll have brisk sales.”

Nene Valley Brewery currently has a range of five beers for sale. They include the 3.6 per cent Simple Pleasures Ale at the lighter end, up to the more full-bodied 5.6 per cent Jim Irving Pale.

For more information visit the brewery’s website at www.nenevalleybrewery.com.