The who’s who of Bury’s Beer Pioneers: the inspirational, experimental, gifted and downright quirky independent brewers who have cultivated Bury’s craft ale movement. Pioneers in craft ale, they have brought their artisan ales to the nation’s attention and as a result helped to grow a national appetite for craft beer.
They have achieved this through passion, graft and commitment to quality; securing national distribution of their product, sharing their passion and their expertise with other micro-brewers and by building micro-breweries for other craft brewers.
Bury is proud of the craft ale revolution that has taken root here and the Bury Beer Festival is a celebration of these mighty Beer Pioneers!
The Leyden Brewery at the Lord Raglan
Established: 1999 Brendan Layden and Brian Farnworth
Head Brewer: Martin Pickering
The first ever micro-brewery to start up in Bury, the Leyden helped save Bury Football Club from closure by creating the now famous Forever Bury beer, which is still one of its most popular ales. Martin credits former head brewer, Brendan who sadly passed away this year, for getting into brewing following his role as head chef. From cooking to brewing, apparently not such a big leap, but it does give their ale that extra flavour.
Outstanding Brewing Company
Established: 2008 David Porter, Paul Sandiford, Glen Woodcock, Alex Lord
Head Brewer: David Porter
Outstanding has literally made an outstanding contribution to the craft ale movement through its passion and commitment to consistency and quality. Its sister company, PBC (installations) has also designed and installed more than 300 micro-breweries across the UK, sharing its expertise and inspiring the next generation of artisan brewers.
Irwell Works Brewery, Ramsbottom
Established: 2010 by Keith Powell, Sara D’Arcy and Pete Booth
Head Brewer: Pete Booth
Situated in a restored former Victorian steam, tin, copper and ironworks, Irwell Works Brewery has a reputation for artisan beer and creative names for its ales, such as Costa del Salford and Marshmallow Unicorn. It might be down to Pete’s former life working as a rocket scientist, or his being one of Britain’s foremost radar experts and still on speed dial at the MOD.
Rammy Craft Ales, Ramsbottom
Established: 2011 by Matt Holmes
Head Brewer: Matt Holmes
Matt is a former hobby brewer and has a 2.5 barrel plant installed in his garage, which means he is like a doting parenting towards his beer, giving it the 24/7 love and attention it deserves. It also means he can continue to indulge his passion for experimental and artisan craft brewing.
Deeply Vale Brewery
Head Brewer: James Stewart
James first started his brewing business in his dad’s garage whilst working at the Bury Trackside. Production up-scaling considerably when he moved to Peel Industrial Estate and now produces in excess of 168,000 pints of craft beer per year, selling it in pubs all around the country. Call him a twisted fire-starter, he has even produced a special Christmas beer for Keith Flint of The Prodigy.
Silver Street Brewing Company
Head Brewer: Craig Adams
Silver Street is the newest addition to the Bury Beer Pioneers. Installed beneath the Bury’s award-winning pub, The Clarence, Silver Street has quickly gained a reputation for quality artisan brews and an alchemist’s eye for unusual flavour pairings. Claiming there is a scientific theory behind this idea, Craig plays music into his hot liquor tank, sometimes he plays the banjo, sometimes it ferments to the beats of dub reggae, so you could say his beer is musically infused.
Head Brewer: James Smith
In 2014, James decided to turn his passion for home brewing and good beer into a living. With the help of his wife, Jennifer and his father, Ted, they set up Brewsmith. The brewery have won many awards, with their Brewsmith Bitter being highly decorated at The 2015 SIBA North West Regional Awards, cementing their place on the North West real ale scene.
Brightside Brewing Company
Head Brewer: Neil Friedrich with the assistance of Lance Friedrich
Originally family bakers, the Friedrich family made the switch from pie making to brewing – so they didn’t have to rise so early in the morning! From small beginnings as a 2.5 barrel plant to the highly respected Brightside, which boasts 18 barrels and up to 72 casks per brew day of beer.