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English pubs welcome growth in micro-breweries

The growing number of micro-breweries popping up across the UK are being welcomed by Free House pubs and their customers. Felicity Murray talked to the owner of a new brewery set up just last year

Kevin Jones Stocklinch Ales

Stocklinch Ales is situated on a farm in one of the most beautiful parts of Somerset in the west of England. The village of Stocklinch lies on the lower slopes of the ‘linches’, a range of hills that has given the village its name.

“I built the brewery with the help of friends in 2012 after scouring the country for suitable equipment and vessels,” Kevin Jones explains. “We only use natural ingredients including the highest quality hops and malts (from Warminster) to create great tasting beers. I brew with passion and try my best to get it tasting full bodied, well-conditioned and bursting with flavour!

“I have always had a passion for brewing ales. I started brewing in my early twenties, using pots and pans at home just for fun. About two years ago, I started working at the Lyme Regis micro-brewery to help me perfect my craft.”

When the Manor Farm industrial units became available in Stocklinch where Kevin lives, it was just the incentive he needed to make his dream of running his own microbrewery into a reality.

“We use locally grown ingredients where possible, plus special malt that we get from a supplier in Warminster, who is one of only two suppliers in the UK that use the traditional hand turned ‘floor malting’ drying process, which in our view produces better quality malt. We currently brew five beers and are continually developing new recipes.”

Five ales are currently on offer: CAMRA Award winning Black Smock, a rich dark ale named after a Sedgemoor pub that Kevin and his wife used to visit; Rusty Boiler, named after the old heater used in the production process; and Ramblers Gold, a light golden ale, which derives its name from a friend’s picturesque smallholding on Exmoor. Gunner Boyce is a stronger, darker brown bitter, named after Kevin’s Grandfather who served in the Royal Horse Artillery and Scallions Ketch, a mid-brown best bitter which is an anagram ­ any guesses?

“We are also working on a new green ale, which uses green hops to produce a golden light brew. This limited Edition ale, named Jake’s, is 4% Golden Amber Ale, and has a crisp apple and grapefruit flavour with a bitter finish – it’s a real one off!

“We have had a great reception from the local Free Houses and it is gratifying to know that the pubs welcome traditional handcrafted ales.

When not brewing, Kevin sings in a Rock Band called “For Men on The Job!”.

Stocklinch Ales (trade prices):
Ramblers Gold 3.8%abv – a very refreshing light golden beer, with a slight aftertaste of grapefruit £63.50 + vat

Scallions Ketch 4.2%abv – a mid brown Best Bitter, hint of chocolate ,with a lingering bitterness £65.50 + vat
Rusty Boiler 4.5%abv – a mid brown best bitter, with a lick of caramel £67.50 + vat
Black Smock 5%abv – a dark beer with a strong rich taste of chocolate liquorish and coffee with a hint of blackcurrant (award winner) £71.50 + vat
Gunner Boyce 4.8%abv – a mid brown Premium Bitter, strong fruity flavours with taste of dark toffee £70.50 + vat
Gunner Boyce 4.8%abv – a mid brown Premium Bitter, strong fruity flavours with taste of dark toffee £70.50 + vat
Jake’s 4%abv – a Golden amber beer . Crisp taste of apples and grapefruit with slight bitter aftertaste  £65.50 + vat limited edition


11 April 2013