Singular beers, unfined and unfiltered, brewed by hand in Old Heath, Colchester since 2016. I suppose I could call them ‘artisanal beers’ but I don’t.

photo courtesy of Justin Mason

Brewing commercially since late 2016, as of late-2020 I’ve put a hold on producing casks and kegs, not wanting to take sales away from bigger breweries who need the money to pay rent and rates and staff. I’ve moved over to brewing entirely for bottles and cans. I now have online shop and deliver bottles/cans to CO1 to CO8 postcodes (slightly further afield if you buy a box), and post cans anywhere in the UK.

My beers are unfined and unfiltered, and are mostly vegan (lactose in milk stout and honey in honey porters being the exceptions.)

My beers are brewed by hand, using gravity rather than pumping the beer between vessels. From coming from the water supply the beer will travel only a couple of metres in food grade tubing through three stainless steel vessels on its journey to cask or bottle. Many recipes will be simply water, malt, hops and yeast. I use top-quality Maris Otter Pale Malt for my base malt. When flavours are needed it is from fresh ingredients rather than extract : I’ve used vanilla pods, freshly ground coffee beans, cacao beans, fresh mango, fresh ginger, coconut flakes, liquorice root, local honey (Dutch Quarter in Colchester and Abbots Hall Farm at Gt. Wigborough), and rhubarb (next door’s garden) in brews to date.

The only chemicals I use are for treatment to the water (acid to treat the hard water and powdered salts to get the mineral balance right) as you wouldn’t really want beer brewed with untreated tap water. I use Irish Moss (a seaweed) at the end of the boil to clear the beer, and I benefit from being a smaller scale brew in that I can use an immersion chiller to cool the beer to fermentation temperature in the kettle, which means that a whole lot of protein and hop material sinks to the bottom of the kettle before transfer, rather than ending up in the fermenter and needing finings to clear the beer.

Brewers sugar or demerera is used to get the beer to carbonate in the cask or bottle or can (yup I prime in the can exactly the same as with bottles, so the cans are *100%* the same as the bottles). Kegs are carbonated from bottles of CO2.

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Get in touch by email : mark@watsonsbrewery.co.uk or mobile 07804 641267.