Couple celebrate first year of brewery set up in historic city castle

Owners David and Lorna Eastwood
Owners David and Lorna Eastwood

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David Eastwood and his wife Lorna have raised their pint glasses to toast a year since opening their dream business, Southsea Brewing Company.

It has been a memorable 12 months for the entrepreneurs who welcomed the birth of their first son and saw success with their brewery, set inside the Tudor Southsea Castle.

David said: ‘I’d always been interesting in brewing my own beer and did make home brew. Back then I was working in sales and the desk job life wasn’t for me.

‘I began volunteering to work in local breweries before my wife and I decided to venture out on our own.’

While volunteering, David kept an eye out for the perfect setting for the pair’s own business and soon found the spot.

David said: ‘Henry VIII built this space as he always wanted somewhere for his troops to stop for a beer or some water so I feel as though we’re bringing a little piece of history back to Portsmouth.’

The former Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, David Fuller, came to the castle and cut the ribbon, officially opening the brewery and the couple have seen high demand ever since.

To celebrate their success one year on, David and Lorna decided to enter into a collaboration and contacted coffee shop Hunter Gatherer, which opened around the same time as Southsea Brewing Company.

David said: ‘I contacted Hunter Gatherer and we came up with the idea to make a delicious coffee milk stout, made from real Brazilian coffee beans.

‘We held a launch party for the limited edition beer inside the cafe to celebrate our collective first year in trading so it was a great event for all, really. The thing we love about Southsea is the sense of community and that businesses work together.’

David and Lorna run their company, with family and friends pitching in. They pride themselves on their wide range of carefully crafted beers.

David said: ‘We make a more modern, American-inspired beer using lots of hops from around the world.

‘They range from a low percentage, refreshing pale ale to a 7.5 per cent chocolate milk stout which is more rich and full of flavour. We also offer different versions of IPA and dark beers.’

The brewery is open every Saturday and Sunday from midday to 4pm and visits during the week are made by appointment only.

At the weekend the beer is available on tap and bottles can be bought to take away. The brewery’s licence is takeaway only but people often sit in the sun on the benches outside or enjoy a bottle at the bandstand events held nearby.