Family affair as new brewhouse pours first pints

Philip Wilks, left, launches Brigstock Brewhouse at the Brigstock Beer Festival, September 2012
Philip Wilks, left, launches Brigstock Brewhouse at the Brigstock Beer Festival, September 2012
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A teacher has launched his own brewery after one of his sons asked him to provide the beer for his wedding.

Philip Wilks has always had an interest in brewing his own beer and after moving to Brigstock from Brighton, building his family’s home and indulging in his love of pottery, he decided to revisit brewing.

He said: “My eldest son, Tom, asked me to make some beer for his wedding. He named it Potter’s Ruin and designed the label, and everyone said the beer was fantastic.

“I decided to write to the council and tell them I wanted to make beer and East Northants Council were very supportive, so I launched Brigstock Brewhouse at the Brigstock Beer Festival in September.”

The brewhouse is a real family affair with Mr Wilks’ other son, Sam, designing the flier given out at the beer festival and he is working on the website. Response to the new brewery’s beers has been very positive.

Mr Wilks said: “I make real beer.

“I use spring water from a local limestone aquifer which gives the beer a superb smoothness and clarity and I don’t mix in any additives.”

He also uses the latest bottle technology, known as oxbar PET. These are lightweight plastic bottles with crown caps, like a traditional glass bottle but the plastic used breathes oxygen while retaining carbon dioxide. The removal of oxygen means that the beer is kept in prime condition. And the bottles are fully recyclable.

The brewery is an eight-barrel plant and produces four beers, Brigstock Gold, Autumn Harvest, Potter’s Ruin and Old Nick’s Favourite. For details call Mr Wilks on 01536 373428.