Clive's Gosport nano-brewery sets sights on making award-winning beer
Hidden away on a quiet Gosport street lies the Newtown Brewery.
The inconspicuous nano-brewery, in Victoria Street, is owned and operated by Clive Luff.
Nano-breweries are smaller than micro-breweries and this one produces about 18 gallons per brew.
Clive said: ‘A usual brew day is nine hours long, from start to finish. It’s a one-man show.
‘I used to buy home-brewed beer, but found it wasn’t to my taste.’
The brewery brews four types of beer; Victorian Porter, Blockhouse, Rev Bingham and Warrior, the latter two being produced seasonally.
The Victorian Porter won the Stouts and Porter class at the CAMRA Gosport Winterfest 2016.
Clive said: ‘I wasn’t expecting to win, it was the first time I’d entered my beer in any competition.’
The brewery aims to buck the trend in the use of hops from America, Australia and New Zealand, which give beer citrus and passion fruit flavours.
‘I use British malts and British hops for my beer,’ said Clive.
‘I’m probably a little bit different to what some people want, but I brew beers that I want to drink.
‘They tend to be a little more chestnut-coloured.’
He enjoys brewing by himself, although has occasional help from friends.
As he still works full-time, Clive tends to only brew at the weekend.
Working on such a small scale means that only a couple of pubs in Gosport are lucky enough to receive some of Newtown’s beer.
But recently one of Clive’s brews was served outside Gosport for the first time, when the Golden Bowler in Stubbington stocked Victorian Porter – and it received great feedback.
The brewery is eco-friendly, with waste water reused for cleaning casks and vessels, and hops and grains used for compost and to feed the local chickens.
Clive has plans for the future too, with a top secret recipe in the pipeline.
He said: ‘I’m going to use an ingredient that nobody uses, and it will be the first time anybody has ever used it.’
Clive is also donating a cask of his Blockhouse brew to the Fallen Acorn Brewing Co. charity beer festival on April 15, in aid of Naomi House Children’s Hospice.
The Newtown Brewery received its HMRC Brewers’ License in 2015 and received a five-star hygiene rating from Gosport Environmental Health in 2014.
For more information, go to newtownbrewery.co.uk
MEET THE BREWER
Clive Luff has 35 years of brewing experience.
He still has a full-time job, as a civil servant in IT, meaning he tends to only brew at the weekend.
Born in Nottinghamshire, Clive moved down to the south coast as a child.
‘Like a lot of people around here, my father was in the navy,’ he said.
Once his father had completed his service, Clive was in the middle of his exams at school, so the family decided to stay.
His love for brewing started from a young age. It helped that, when growing up, his mother was a barmaid and his aunt and uncle worked at a brewery.
‘Beer has been in my blood,’ he said. ‘I started off brewing wine, but I didn’t like really wine when I was younger so I used to give it away.’
Once he developed a taste for beer, there was no looking back. In 1999, he attended a three-day brewery course at Sunderland University.
This inspired Clive to continue brewing and in 2014 he finally achieved his dream of running his own brewery, having gained relevant permissions from the council.
Newtown Brewery was set up by Clive and it took him a fair time to build, having to fit it in around his job. But he wants to make one thing certain.
‘I don’t like being called a craft brewery – I’m just a local brewery,’ he said.
With a full-time job and beer-making every weekend, he does not have too much time for other activities.
He spends time with his wife, Prapawadee, and enjoys collecting model beer trucks and lorries – he has more than 1,000.
Looking towards the future, he said: ‘Once I retire, hopefully I’ll be able to spend more time in the brewery!’