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. I brew from a purpose built brew house in the garden. (Small, but perfectly formed).

In my early days of commercial brewing I sold casks, bottles and cans to trade, which was fun, and began looking to upsize. During COVID I set up an online shop, so that I could sell bottles direct at a time when there wasn’t much option for selling casks. But thanks to Farage, Truss and Putin, the recent mahoosive price increases for bottles, labels, cardboard boxes, electricity and just about everything else, reduced margins on bottles to virtually nil. So now I’m putting all my beer into cask and you’ll find them at nearby pubs and beer festivals. The upside of this business model is that it’s quite stress free, and one that I can keep up for many more years.

My beers are unfined and unfiltered, and vegan friendly. I brew them 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. 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 brewer 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 and filtering processes to clear the beer.

Brewers sugar or demerera is used to get the beer to carbonate in the cask. I don’t use CO2 at all in the brewery (a good thing as that’s bluddy expensive now) and there’s a whole heap of ‘sh*t and stuff’ that bigger breweries can use during the brewing process that I don’t use.

To keep up to date follow Watsons Brewery on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. And check out the reviews on Untappd.

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