Welcome to Sandiway Ales

Hello, please allow us to introduce ourselves....We are Mike and Paul Hill, a father and son brewing team, making real ale on the premises at Blakemere Village. On our five brewer's barrel kit, we can produce 820 litres per day. With over 12 years of brewing experience, we aim to provide a range of quality real ales in both cask and bottle. We strive to provide a quality product and quality service, with a smile. We'll also be selling our wares in our own brewery tap "The Wee Howff". So come along and have a drink with us!

Cheers!

Soon to be featured on BBC One

Sandiway Ales will be featured on the BBC's Escape To The Country TV show this Spring 2018.

We’re Hiring!

Sandiway Ales is hiring! Fancy joining our ever expanding brewery? We’re currently looking for an experienced Sales Rep to join our team. Work from here…or from home!
Apply at our pub with your CV or email us here at Sandiway Ales!

Our Real Ale Range

Sandiway Ales produces four great-tasting real cask ales in its main line-up. Each with its own unique flavour.
Plus our latest ales Chain Breaker and Summit from our Trail Meets The Ale Series.




The Sandiway Brewers

At Sandiway Ales, our Brewers are professional, committed and highly skilled in their field. They take the time to ensure the beer they produce is of the highest-quality and taste. They use only the finest high-grade ingredients during the brewing process to ensure their customers get the best tasting beer.


Mike Hill

Juliet P. Brand

MIKE HILL


Hi I'm Mike, the Dad!
Married, three kids and four grandkids.
Likes: Everton,the Green Bay Packers,holidays in Greece and I have to try every ale I see on the bar! It's called quality control...I think?!

Paul Hill

Hi I'm Paul, the Son!
Single,play bass in a band and make beer for a living.
Likes: Everton(Dads fault), The Kings of Leon and experimenting with new flavours in beer. Any ideas? Please don't hesitate to give me a call.

Juliet P. Brand

PAUL HILL


Mike Hill

Hi I'm Mike, the Dad!
Married, three kids and four grandkids.
Likes: Everton,the Green Bay Packers,holidays in Greece and I have to try every ale I see on the bar! It's called quality control...I think?!
Contact: mike@sandiwayales.co.uk

Paul Hill

Hi I'm Paul, the Son!
Single,play bass in a band and make beer for a living.
Likes: Everton(Dads fault), The Kings of Leon and experimenting with new flavours in beer. Any ideas? Please don't hesitate to give me a call.
Contact: paul@sandiwayales.co.uk

Our History

After years of engineering and warehousing, Mike Hill joined the now defunct Northern Brewing Co. in 2003 and learned the art of beer making. After the retirement of the previous Owner, the opportunity arose last year to purchase the business. Along with his son Paul, they founded Sandiway Ales in October of 2015 and set about producing ale on the same premises at the Blakemere Craft Centre. With a capacity of 820 litres a day (5 brewers barrel), the aim was to produce beers of the highest quality both in cask as well as bottles. Thus Sandiway Ales was born!

Our Brewing Process

We take pride in our beer-making process. Each batch we produce creates a unique flavour that we love to share with our customers.
The ancient process of beer-making has changed little over the years. We take the take the time to ensure we use not only the highest quality ingredients, but keep to a high standard of quality, cleanliness and hygiene during our ale making processes.
Take a moment to see just how beer is created in our drop down tabs.


The first thing a Brewer needs to do before getting to work making real ale is to ensure that their brewing grain is ready to go. Assuming they aren’t malting their own barley, this means milling or crushing the grains. This crucially important step can make or break a beer before it has even begun. The key is to crush the grains enough so that it exposes the starchy centre of the barley seed without damaging the grain hulls that encase them. If the crush is too course, not enough of the starch will be converted to fermentable sugars. If the crush is too fine, the husks, which act as a filter bed for the brew will be destroyed, The brew will then become gummy and unusable. Sandiway Ales buy their grain from the experts already pre-crushed.

Once the grain has been milled, it is added to a large vessel called the mash turn and mixed with hot water to form the mash. The heat from the water activates the enzymes within the barley. These enzymes begin to convert the starches in the grains into sugars.

Since there are several different types of enzymes within barley, each with a preferred temperature at which they like to work, Brewers monitor the mash temperatures very closely. By raising and lowering the temperature of the mash, Brewers can control what types of sugars are produced by the enzymes. At lower temperatures, highly fermentable sugars are created, resulting in dry beers. At higher temperatures the sugars aren’t as easily digested by the yeast, resulting in a beer with some sugars left unfermented and thus a sweeter, more full-bodied end product.

The next step in the brewing process is to take the mash and separate the spent grain from the sugary liquid known as wort. This process is called lautering.

To begin the lautering process the mash is transferred to a vessel called an under-back. Here the clear wort is drained away from the hulls and barley grist. Water is also added during lautering in order to extract even more of the fermentable sugars from the grain. This is known as sparging. Sparging must be done very gradually as to not disrupt the grain bed that acts as a natural filter for the wort. Brewers typically add sparge water at the same rate as the wort is being drained.

Once the sweet wort has been separated from the grains, it is brought to a strong, prolonged boil for one to two hours. This boiling process is critical for many reasons. First, and most importantly, it sterilises the beer. In todays modern world, that seems fairly important, but for a long time this was quite literally a life-saver. For centuries people commingled their clean and run-off water supplies, leading their drinking water to become a town well sized petri dish for harmful bacteria. Of course, people didn’t understand this. They just knew their water was unsafe and that something in the brewing process made water ok to drink. It’s for this reason that everyone drank beer, including small children.

However, boiling does more than sterilise the brew. Hops introduced to boiling water will begin to break down, or isomerise, molecularly altering the composition of the acids within the hops and releasing bitterness into the beer. The longer the hops are boiled, the more of their alpha acids will be isomerised. This lends a bitterness to the brew. Hops added to the boil to lend bitterness are called early hop additions and are generally allowed to boil in the beer for an hour or more.

Hops added later in the boil don’t bitter the beer all that much, but instead lend flavour and aroma. This is because in addition to alpha acids, hops also contain highly volatile and very pungent oils, which break down quickly in boiling water. However if only exposed to the boiling wort for a short period of time, or at lower temperatures hops will release these oils and lend aromatics and flavouring to the beer. To extract flavour, brewers typically add hops about 10-15 minutes before the end of the boil. For aroma, hops are added even later-no more than 2 minutes before the end of the boil. Often aromatic hop additions even occur just after the boil ends.

Once the wort has been cooled, it is moved to a fermentor, which is usually just a large stainless steel vat (or on rare occasions, oak). Next, yeast is added and the fun begins! From the moment the yeast is added it gets to work eating the sugars that were created during the mash. As they consume the sugar, the yeast expels carbon dioxide and alcohol. This also releases a variety of flavour compounds that vary greatly, depending on several variables such as the specific strain of yeast, as well as the fermentation temperature of the beer. Fermentation time can vary greatly, from a few days for a simple ale, to over a month for lagers.

Once chilled the beer it is racked into casks and put into a cold store until it is sold.

Freshly fermenting beer is added to existing beer from the cold store, which will kick start the dormant yeast (a process called krausening) and when added to a bottle will produce a beer with a small sediment. The bottles are then placed in a warm store for a period to activate a secondary fermentation. This is known as bottle conditioned beer.

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