A NEWLY-LAUNCHED brewery is hoping that the historic setting of Southsea Castle will inspire its ales.
Henry VIII, who built the castle in 1544, and is rumoured to have designed it himself, has already inspired one beer’s name – Six Wives – after his infamous number of marriages.
The brewery’s launch saw a massive turnout of more than 2,000 beer enthusiasts – at least 1,000 pints were drunk and 600 bottles sold.
Following the success of the launch, managing director David Eastwood and his wife, Lorna, have seen significant interest from local independent pubs.
Due to the small size of the brewery, the director’s main focus is to create beer for the locals and tourists to come and taste.
The brewery offers four different types of craft beer on tap, but it is hoped to expand that number.
Mr Eastwood said: ‘It is a pretty unique place to have a brewery, and I therefore did everything I could to secure this location. My gut feeling was that I didn’t want it to just be another industrial brewery.’
The Lord Mayor David Fuller and the Lady Mayoress Leza Tremorin attended the opening of the brewery, on Sunday, July 17, and officially opened it in the afternoon.
The Lord Mayor said: ‘It was truly lovely to officially open the brewery. I was honoured to be present at Southsea Castle –people didn’t stop queueing up for the free beer. Clearly, they are very enthusiastic owners, and I wish them all the very best with their future.’
Father and son duo Dicey Riley from Portsmouth provided live Irish folk music throughout the opening day.
Every Saturday and Sunday, the brewery will open its doors from midday to 4pm, for the public to sample and buy the different types of beers, which normally take between two to three weeks to brew, depending on their strength.
Six Wives, is left to mature for almost a year.
The owners are selling two-pint cartons filled from the taps, due to the licence that the brewery holds.
Southsea Brewing Co. will be selling brewery experience days that will give guests a chance to tour the brewery, meet the brewer and try the beers.
It brewed a special beer for last weekend’s America’s Cup. AC-45 is an English Pale Ale at 4.5 per cent proof.
The director of the Southsea Brewing Co says he has always wanted to have his own brewery.
After finishing his university degree five years ago, studying music and technology, David Eastwood, 30, began home brewing in his kitchen as a pastime, while he continued to work in London at a lighting company.
He then volunteered at a local brewery and learned a variety of different techniques that he later perfected at home.
When he was offered a full-time position at the same brewery, Mr Eastwood left his job in London.
He always enjoyed experimenting with new ingredients and come up with creative recipes, but the brewery had to stick with the traditional ales that were being shipped to pubs.
David continued to brew from home in his garage, but wanted to own his own commercial brewery.
He applied for a Hot Walls studio in Old Portsmouth to practise brewing - however, the application got declined due to the studios being reserved for art.
The council reassured him not to give up on his dream and continued to look for places that Mr Eastwood could set up his own brewery. The council then came back to him with the proposal for Southsea Castle.
He describes his brewery as an extension from home brewing as he creates hand crafted, unique products.
He said: ‘Being a small brewery I can keep experimenting.
‘I do focus a lot on making it experimental, I’m not trying to compete with other breweries making traditional ales.’