Olde Swan - have decided to brew what could prove to be an interesting variation on their Winter beer – Black Widow. They intend brewing the recipe without the addition of the Dark Chocolate malts that have given it its characteristic colour. The beer will be the same ABV of 6.7% and will be called White Widow.
Sarah Hughes - have produced two special brews. Hedgerow, a copper-coloured strong beer, at 7.4% is on sale at the Beacon Hotel. This will be followed by a new brew, Challenger, at 4.6%, a pale beer which, for them, will be hoppy.
The annual brewings of Snowflake, their 8% barley wine, has commenced and this will be available at the Beacon Hotel from late November.
Enville - American Pale Ale is now available in bottles. The Autumn/Winter brewing schedule will ensure Gothic and Ginger Gothic are both available in casks and mini-kegs (5L tins) from Monday 9th October and Blizzard will be brewed either 14th or 15th November so casks and mini-kegs will be available from 27th November.
The Punch A estate now operated by Heineken has forced Enville to deliver into their Wakefield depot in Yorkshire from where it will be delivered back to the Black Country! Also, they are eliminating 'minor brands' so Ginger will disappear completely from the former Punch A estate. (They told the CMA this would happen but they assured the market there would be no reduction in choice!) Enville have spoken with Hobson's and they have the same issues but like Enville with Enville Ale they will continue to ship Town Crier to Wakefield, for now at least!
Batham's - have opened their new pub the King Arthur, Hagley
DY9 0LF, relatively easy to get to by train.
Holden’s - have produced Woodsetton Pale Ale for their in-house bottling line. The contract to supply the beer to Aldi supermarkets amounted to a whopping 77000 bottles.
Pig iron - have moved to the Britannia Inn, Rowley Village, Rowley Regis.
The pub now has 9 handpulls featuring a selection of Ales from Pig Iron along with Brew Britannia - 4.2%ABV, a sweet, hoppy Golden Ale and Britt Pop - 4.5%ABV, a heavily hopped straw coloured ale with citrus notes, and guests.
Holden’s - Castle Class 4.6%ABV is now available.
Holden’s - Summer Buzz Ale 4.6%ABV a 'honeyed ale' is now available.
Bathams - are are converting two office blocks at Hagley, pub opening expected September.
Holden’s - are about to launch a new beer ‘Abraham Darby’ to commemorate the life of Abraham Darby, born in Woodsetton and a founder of the Industrial Revolution.
Holden’s - Hopden Ale 4.9%ABV brewed with Sorachi and Cascade hops is the new seasonal beer.
Fownes - have brewed two new pale ales, The Pale King 4.0%ABV, and Broddr's Swan Song 5.0%ABV. Visons Of Heresy, a rye IPA 5.7%ABV will be coming soon.
Bathams - have a new logoed glass celebrating their 140th Anniversary.
Sarah Hughes - Dark Ruby Mild has won Silver in the National Competition in the Old Ale/Strong Mild category, which was held at the National Winter Ales Festival in Norwich.
Kinver - have brewed a special - Sixty per Centurion - a 6.0%ABV golden ale and Full Centurion 10.0%ABV which will be appearing at several pubs and beer festivals around the region and beyond. The Walsall Beer Festival will be featuring all 3 of the Centurion range
Sarah Hughes - are bewing a new Englsih Pale Ale - 5.4%ABV which will be available in March.
Holden’s - have launched the first of their Seasonal beers this year with Toffee Porter. Toffee Porter is a traditional Dark Railway Porter with the addition of carefully selected Toffee added during the brewing process. A 4.1% beer, Black in colour with a rich roasted Malt and toffee aroma and rich smooth sweet flavour. The pump clip commemorates Great Western Railways 4091, Dudley Castle, engine built in July 1925.
Blue Bear Brewery - in Smethwick is the brewer of the Highgate and Davenports range of beers. Currently available in their range is Highgate Mild and Highgate Old Ale along with the Davenports brands of Pale Ale, Original Bitter, Red Baron, Imperial IPA and Top Brew DeLuxe.
Sarah Hughes - at the CAMRA West Midlands Regional Awards Ceremony, Dark Ruby Mild was awared West Midland Region Supreme Champion Beer of the Year 2016.
Kinver - were awarded, at the CAMRA West Midlands Regional Awards Ceremony, Kinver Over the Edge – Gold in the Barley Wine/Strong Old Ales category; Kinver Noble – Gold in the Golden Ale category;
Kinver Black Ram – Silver in the Stout category;
Kinver Edge – Bronze in the Best Bitter category;
Kinver Khyber – Silver in the Real Ale in Bottles (light category).
Holden’s - at the CAMRA West Midlands Regional Awards Ceremony, Black Country Special – was awarded Silver in the Strong Bitter category.
Batham's - were awarded, at the CAMRA West Midlands Regional Awards Ceremony, Bathams Mild – Gold in the Mild category
Bathams XXX – Silver in the Old Ale/Strong Mild category.
Fownes - at the CAMRA West Midlands Regional Awards Ceremony, were awarded for King Korvak’s Saga – Silver in the Porter category.
Holden's - the seasonal special is Noddy Holdens, a 4.2%ABV beer. The first brew is already sold and in the trade, 9000 pints currently being drunk. The second brew has already gone out to the trade. the third brew commenced on the 6th December and should follow into the pubs soon.
Batham's - The seasonal special XXX 6.5%ABV now available in their pubs
Kinver - won 2nd place in the West Midlands Stout competition held at Bromsgrove.
Dave has brewed a new beer exclusively for the Post Office Vaults in Birmingham. This will be a house beer called 1st Class Stamp at 4.2%.
Sarh Hughes - First brew of Snowflake had been done and with more to come, that will take up capacity for the rest of the year. Pub & Brewery website has been redesigned and now has tweets.
Enville - seasonals coming in October/November: Gothic Ale and Ginger Gothic (both 5.2% ABV Dark Stouts) for Halloween and Bonfire Night and December/January Blizzard (6.5% strong Winter Ale).
Batham’s - production of XXX in the offing and anticipated at Dudley Winter Ales Fayre 24th - 26th November. After demolition of adjacent housing and site clearance Service Yard now complete with attractive iron gates facing Delph Road.
Pig Iron - are rumoured to be looking to open another pub. As yet no details are available as to where the establishment will be.
Blue Bear - is the home of the Highgate and Davenports brewing operation these days. Older readers may well remember Davenports Top Brew De Luxe. Hopefully this beer is going to be recreated for Dudley Winter Ales Fayre in November.
Holden's - has launched The Great Holden’s Beer Hunt which runs from Monday 19th September to Sunday 11th December. Visit Holden’s pubs, order a pint of Holden’s and get your card stamped at the bar. Mini Beer Hunt - Visit 9 pubs then the Brewery Bottle Shop and you’ll receive a Holden’s tankard, a car sticker and a packet of Handcooked Pork Scratchings. Big Beer Hunt - Visit all pubs, go to the Brewery Bottle Shop, then arrange the 20 letters and numbers into a well-known phrase associated with Holden’s. Submit your card and become an official Holden’s Beer Hunter. You will receive a Holden’s tankard, a packet of Handcooked Pork Scratchings, a limited edition ‘Holden’s Beer Hunter’ T-shirt, a car sticker and a bottle of award-winning Black Country ale.
Kinver Brewery - Over the Edge won the West Midlands Regional Strong old ale/Barley wine competition. In May Dave brewed a new beer called Cutting Edge 5.5% for Kidderminster beer festival. Livin' on the Edge 4.9% will again be brewed for the Black Country celebrations.
Sarah Hughes - The latest special brew, launched in the Spring, was a 7.4% copper-coloured beer named Hedgerow. This has been brewed again and will be available in July.
Holden’s - seasonal beers in the next few months are Slack Tub and Woodsetton Pale Ale. Slack Tub is a 3.8% beer described as a thirst quenching, fruity, new Century ale, using the finest English Lager malts and First Gold hop s giving the Slack Tub a light straw colour and a crisp fresh hop aroma. Woodsetton Pale Ale at 4.5% will be making a welcome return in July and August. A Classic Old-English Pale Ale brewed using the finest English pale and crystal malts giving both biscuit and caramel notes on the nose followed with a burst of traditional Fuggles and Goldings hops leadin g to a lingering, moreish, fresh dry finish.
Pig Iron - has acquired its first pub, Weavers Real Ale House, in Kidderminster, close to the Severn Valley Railway station. The pub will still be selling its usual range of beers and cider but it is the intention to add an extra hand pump to dispense Pig Iron beers.
Kinver Brewery - Over the Edge ABV 7.6% - won the Silver National SIBA Award 2016 in the Premium Strong Beers catagory.
Bathams - Work on land adjacent to the brewery is progressing in that houses have now demolished to allow proposed access. The tied estate is now 10 pubs, one less than before, with the sale of the Giler Arms.
Black Country Ales - The Salmon, Leicester has started well, plus another pub in the same city has been acquired. The former GBG listed Waggon and Horses, Halesowen has also been acquired. It is being refurbished, with planned re-opening late March.The brewery had a new floor and stairs fitted so no beer was brewed from December to February. It is back to normal now.The Real Ale Trail (Jan to Mar) has been going well.
Toll End - A new beer, Retribution, has been brewed at 5.2% being a strong bitter Pale Ale.A range of special beers are being brewed, initially for sale in the Waggon & Horses only. The most popular will be made more widely available. These 'Hoss' beers will feature a range of hops from Slovenia, Germany and Poland. ('Hoss' is Black Country for horse). Six beers have been brewed so far: Flying Hoss 4%, Dark Hoss 5.4%, Tattin' Hoss 4.7%, Stripey Hoss 4.2-4.4%, Loffin' Hoss 4.7%, Scabby Hoss (abv varies). Limited bottling is ongoing. 10% discount still available for CAMRA members on Toll End beers at Waggon & Horses.
Holden’s - Tales of lost brewing notes are the stuff of myth and legend in the brewing industry. These words launch a series of seasonal beers from Holden’s brewery. The year started with Holden’s 101, a Black Pale Ale. The tasting notes indicate a combination of the finest English dark roasted malts and Green Bullet and Willamette hops to produce a luxuriously smooth, easy drinking IPA with a tremendous depth of caramel like flavour and a long lingering bitter finish. The ABV is an easy drinking 4.1%.Their next beer in the series which will be available from March through to May is Woodsetton Pale Ale – WPA. The ABV of this beer is 4.5% and is described as a Classic Old-English Pale Ale brewed using the finest English pale and crystal malts giving both biscuit and caramel notes on the nose followed with a burst of traditional Fuggles and Goldings hops leading to a lingering, moreish, fresh dry finish.
Other beers are planned for later in the year – Slack Tub at 3.8% from June through to August, Red by Night at 4% will be available from September through to November and finally Dragon’s Blood at 5.6% will be available from November.
Pig Iron - Hog Ore Best Bitter has been re-launched recently and is available in a selection of local free houses.
Sarah Hughes winter beer Snowflake has now sold out at the Beacon Hotel (apart from one firkin which is being saved for Black Country Weekend in July). Their 5.3% IPA is now available. A new 7.4% copper-coloured beer is currently being brewed and will be available towards the end of March. As yet unnamed, it uses British Bramling Cross and Admiral hops for flavouring and aroma. Later on, some of the 4.6% specials from last year will be repeated. Expect Bramling Cross in Spring, with Pilot and Admiral to follow.
Mercian Alliance of Brewers (MAB) - is a collective of small independent Breweries accross the Midlands. Its aim is to collaborate; share best practices and inovations; promote new and diverse styles of beer and contibute to establish a thriving and exciting beer scene.
Members: Broughs Brewery, Craddocks, Fixed Wheel, Fownes Brewery, Two Towers, Glass Jaw, Green Duck, KInver Brewery, Rock n’ Roll, Twisted Spire.
Fownes Brewing Company Forgebreaker - 6.6% - a new brew which will be available at Dudley Winter Ales Fayre.
Holdens Master Ale - ABV 10% - a commemorative centenary brew will be available at Dudley Winter Ales Fayre.
Black Country Ales Millenial - 6% - originally brewed for the brewery’s 1000th brew, has been brewed again and will be available at Dudley Winter Ales Fayre.
Enville Blizzard - 6.5% is being brewed for the second winter and will be available towards the end of the year.
Bathams - Some upgrades are planned, the over 100 years old cast iron Hot Liquor Tank together with the similarly aged Mash Tun will be replaced with modern vessels and the 70 years old Copper will be replaced with a new 'copper' vessel. Tim Batham insists on a copper Copper, not a stainless steel one.
Sarah Hughes have produced their first green-hopped brew - Green Gold 4.2% - using First Gold hops from Stocks of Worcestershire.
Snowflake has been brewed and will be on sale late November. A vintage kil from last year's brew will be available at Dudley Winter Ales Fayre.
Fownes Brewing Company King Korvak's Saga - 5.4% - won Beer of the Festival at Stafford Beer Festival. This is the second time in three years.
Toll End Brewery - A range of special beers are being brewed, initially for sale in the Waggon & Horses only. The most popular will be made more widely available. These 'Hoss' beers wiil feature a range of hops from Slovenia, Germany & Poland. (Hoss is Black Country for horse). Six beers have been brewed so far: Flying Hoss 4%, Dark Hoss 5.4%, Tattin' Hoss 4.7%, Stripey Hoss 4.2-4.4%, Loffin' Hoss 4.7%, Scabby Hoss (abv varies).
10% discount still available for CAMRA members on Toll End beers at Waggon & Horses.
Fownes Brewing Company King Korvak's Saga - 5.4% - won Gold in the Porter category for the West Midland in CAMRA's Champion Beer of Britain Competition. It will now go on to compete in the West Midland Beer of the Year Competition at Dudley Winter Ales Fayre.
Pig Iron Brewery, recently opened in Brierley Hill, launched their range of beers at Stourbridge beer festival with three beers:
Hog Ore Best Bitter 4%
Pig Iron All American 4.9%
Pig Iron Blonde 3.8%
Kinver Brewery have produced a new beer for their 1,000th brew, Millennium 4.7% brewed with Millennium hops
Black Country Ales have produced a new beer for their 1,000th brew, Millennial 6%, brewed with American hops, only available in Black Country Ale pubs.
Pig Iron Brewery, 3 Unit, Little Cottage Street, Brierley Hill, Dudley.
Fownes Brewing Company are brewing a 9.1% Red IPA - Free Bird, it will be available at Dudley Winter Ales Fayre.
Sarah Hughes are brewing a 5.5%ABV IPA featuring Pilot Hops, it will be available at the Beacon Hotel and Dudley Winter Ales Fayre.
Holden's now have their own brand of Pork Scratchings.
Blue Bear Brewery have moved from Worcester to 11, New St, Smethwick B66 2AJ
Holden's are now brewing their own Keg lager.
Olde Swan The Black Country day special, 'Netherton Pale Ale' 4.8%ABV, is now in constant production. Black Widdow shall make its annual winter appearance for four weeks or so over the festive period.
Broughs have been asked by the owner of the Pie Factory, Tipton, to brew 'Sledge Hammer Pale Ale' 5.6% ABV.
Enville Gothic will be available from 6th October. Overall production is now 20 barrels, after the installation of new fermentation vessels and cooling plant.
Fownes Brewing Company King Korvak's Saga - 5.4% Porter was voted Beer of the Festival by the public at Wolverhampton Beer Festival.
Fownes Brewing Company Korvak's Triumph – 5.2% Honey Porter was voted LocAle Beer of the Festival by the public at Kidderminster Beer Festival.
Fownes Brewing Company special Maiden Meadow Mild ABV3.7% launched at Stourbridge Beer Festival is available in the Jolly Crispin, 25 Clarence Street, Upper Gornal DY3 1UL. This beer was brewed in conjunction with the winners of the 'brewer for a day' lot in the charity auction at DWAF 2014.
Fownes Brewing Company are brewing a special Ale for the Wolverhampton Beer Festival.
Sarah Hughes are brewing 1929 Russell XXX, based on an old recipe, for the Birmingham Beer Bash - birminghambeerbash.co.uk - which is happening 24th-26th July (Non CAMRA Event). The beer will also be available at the Beacon Hotel.
Sarah Hughes Bramling Cross, brewed over 12 months ago, will be available at the Beacon Hotel on Friday 28th March. IPA brewed in September 2013 available Friday 4th April.
Kinver Brewery Over The Edge was the gold medal winner in the barley wine category of the National Champion Winter Beer of Britain Competition at the National Winter Ales Festival, Derby.
Sarah Hughes Dark Ruby Mild was Birmingham Beer Festival's 'Beer Of The Festival'. The presentation was made on Fri 17th January.
Fownes Brewey Company have installed new vessels that will enable them to brew 3 barrels at a time. They continue to brew their 'Best of British Hops' beers.
Sarah Hughes Snowflake winter beer is now available in the Beacon Hotel, Sedgley.
Batham XXX winter beer will be available at Dudley Winter Ales Fayre and in their pubs thereafter.
Holden's forthcoming Seasonal Beers are:
November - Hirohito's Throne - ABV 4.1%
A pure gold beer brewed using Styrian Goldings hops and Optic malt. Fragrant delicate hop aroma which leads to an almost citrus-like pleasant bitter finish.
December - Maggie's Moonshine - ABV 4.6%
Progress hops and Maris Otter malt produce a powerful and dominating beer with a hoppy aroma and a full malty flavour, leading to a long-lasting distinct finish.
Olde Swan has has brewed Thirst Noel - ABV 9.0% - exclusively for Dudley Winter Ales Fayre. Burnished golden barley wine with a bitter aftertaste from the Northdown and Challenger hops.
Black Widow will be available in the pub from mid November.
Black Country Ales English Winter is now available in pubs.
Enville Gothic seasonal beer will be available from 21st October.
Olde Swan has brewed 40 nine gallon barrels of 'Golden Chains', in aid of the Mayor of Dudley's charities. The beer is on sale at the pub in Halesowen Road, Netherton.
Black Country Ales are running their 3rd Real Ale Trail between 1st October and 31st December. Visit any participating BCA pub to get a passport, get the passport stamped in 20 BCA pubs and claim a limited edition polo shirt. A bonus limited edition t-shirt is available to those who also visit the BCA pub in Liecester.
Fownes Brewing Company seasonal beer available October is Goat Rider Pumpkin Ale: reddish amber; smoked malt lends a distinct roast character while traditional pumpkin pie spices provide subtle spice notes. The brewery's first green hop beer is being brewed.
October's hop variety beer will be Target.
King Korvak's Saga - 5.4% Porter - Beer Of The Festival - Stafford Beer Festival 2013
Kinver have increased capacity with the addition of a new fermenter over the summer. The new bottling facilities are working at full capacity producing Maybug, Half Centurion, Edge and Khyber on a regular basis. Beers are strictly supplied directly to small farmshops and specialist beer shops locally. Half Centurion featured as Beer Of The Week in the York Press (31st August 2013).
Light Railway represented the brewery at the GBBF and went down a treat with Light Railway, Khyber and Maybug being supplied to Peterborough festival in late August.
Holden's forthcoming Seasonal Beers are:
September - Mussolini's Mug - ABV 4%
Straw coloured session beer, brewed using Fuggles hops and Maris Otter malt.
Toasty cereal flavours and intense fruity, hoppy undertones.
October Castro's Challenge - ABV 4%
Combination of Wye Northdown hops and Maris Otter malt.
Sarah Hughes occasional special brews have continued with Challenger well received.
UK Cascade is next, due late August.
Fownes Brewing Company were presented with the 'Beer of The Festival' for Korvak's Triumph, a seasonal honey porter, by Wolverhampton branch of CAMRA at a rip roaring evening at the Jolly Crispin on 25th July and there was a shouty man.
Kinver Brewery: Production continues to go well at the new location. Brewing capacity has effectively tripled. Bottle production is also going well. Further brewery improvements have been to extend the copper and plan to buy a larger fermenter. Taking on a member of staff in June.
Sarah Hughes have introduced occasional special brews using UK hop varieties, all around 4.6% ABV, which are named after the flavouring and aroma hop. The first was available in March and used Bramling Cross, one of the early UK hops, dating to the 1920s. This was very well received and didn't last long. The second, using Boadiciea, a recent hop from the 1990s, will be available in May. It is planned that the next special brew will use the Challenger hop variety which was developed in the 1970s. Additional new brews are dependent on brewing capacity.