Breweries in Northants toast success in new beer guide

Roger Needham, Rob Hart  and Sarah Hart
Roger Needham, Rob Hart and Sarah Hart

Micro breweries in the north of the county are celebrating a fantastic year after six of them were listed in the Good Beer Guide for the first time.

The guide published by the Campaign for Real Ale featured 23 East Midlands breweries after a boom in the region.

And the breweries which spoke to the Telegraph echoed the views, saying the industry was growing in the county and they were confident their successes will continue.

One of those newly listed was the Hart Family Brewers operation, which is based in Wellingborough.

Run by husband and wife Rob and Sarah Hart, who previously worked in the wine industry, the brewery opened in May 2012.

It has been such a success that work has just started to extend the operation, which will help increase its capacity by half.

Mr Hart said it was great to that the company’s efforts had been recognised and that it had been named in the Good Beer Guide.

He said: “We’re absolutely delighted. We have been going for a year and a bit, but even this year we have seen pubs making more space for local brewers.

“We have seen the popularity of local brewers increase throughout the year, and our phones are now pretty much non-stop here.”

Mr Hart said he thinks the reason that locally brewed beer is proving so popular is that they can offer a quality that bigger breweries cannot.

He said that they can also offer an unrivalled customer service, as they operate so close by.

Mr Hart added: “If somebody rings up and asks for a barrel of beer, it will be with them that afternoon, or if not the morning after.”

Copper Kettle Craft Brewery, which is based in Rushden, is another brewery to make the guide.

It was set up last year by former soldiers Vince Stimpson, Ian Bosworth and Pete Brady, who were brought together by a love of real ale.

The enterprise has been set up with funding and business advice from The Royal British Legion via the Be The Boss scheme.

Mr Bosworth said the trio were very happy about being listed in the guide, especially since they all have full-time jobs aside from the brewery.

He added that he felt that local breweries are proving popular in the county because people like to have the feeling they are trying something local and reducing their carbon footprint.

And he said added that he believes the ales brewed are of a higher quality, had more taste and were not bland. He said he hopes the brewery will continue to grow.