IT’S been years since beer was made commercially in the centre of Portsmouth.
Now real ale lovers can raise their pint glasses in celebration of the fact that brewing is making a comeback.
Brewhouse and Kitchen is turning The White Swan, in Guildhall Walk, into a ‘craft beer’ pub featuring a microbrewery, bar and dining area.
Up to 2,800 pints of malt, nutty, brown and other types of beers and porters will be made a week at the premises, which people can drink there or take away in five-litre containers.
There will be seven staple beers to choose from and monthly seasonal ones.
There are plans to create a malty beer called ‘Little Bricky’ in homage to one famously created by former Portsea brewers Brickwoods.
Another one is going to be named after Portsmouth’s world champion swimmer Katy Sexton. Refurbishment work is under way and Katy will officially open the doors of the new-look pub during a ceremony at midday on March 4.
Simon Bunn, 47, managing director for Brewhouse and Kitchen, said he couldn’t wait to get things going.
‘It’s going to be amazing,’ he said. ‘When people come in they will be able to order a pint and can watch it being made in a microbrewery positioned at the side of the bar.
‘The White Swan is a great site with loads of character and it’s in a fantastic location.
‘A lot of things are happening here.’
‘Though I couldn’t get hold of the original recipe for Little Bricky we want to create something that is similar. We’re delighted to get Katy on board.
‘When we asked her to open our pub she was more than happy to oblige.’
The site in Portsmouth will be Brewhouse and Kitchen’s first craft beer pub and there are plans to take the concept elsewhere.
The firm bought The White Swan from JD Wetherspoon last month for an undisclosed fee. The name of the pub and its exterior will be kept the same. Portsmouth’s only other functioning brewery is Irving and Company Brewers, in Walton Road, Drayton.
Portsmouth’s illustrious brewing history
Brickwoods Brewery was a prominent brewery that rose to prominence in the early half of the 20th century after it acquired dozens of breweries across the south east.
It was taken over by Whitbread in 1971 and bottling ceased to function at its base in Portsea, Portsmouth ten years later.
The brewery closed for good in 1983 and brewing was transferred to Cheltenham. In 1989 the Brickwoods headquarters was demolished except for the front and the back wall.
In recent times The Winchester Arms housed the Buckland Brewery, which supplied all of the pub’s ale, before the brewery was taken over by The Oakleaf Brewing Company in 2001. Oakleaf then moved to Mumby Road, Gosport.