May 24th, 2012Desert Island Beers
Say hello to co-founder and owner of Brass Castle Brewery, Phil Saltonstall. Phil once patrolled the skies as a Royal Navy helicopter pilot but has now turned his attention to a more earthbound pursuit. Allong with his wife Harriet, Phil set up a nano-brewery in the basement of their Pocklington, East Yorkshire home last year and their ales proved so popular they have already expanded operations into a microbrewery six miles away on the Garrowby Estate.
The couple, both originally from Beverley, set up Brass Castle after returning from four years in New York. In America, Phil’s enthusiasm for ale lead to a job with Triumph Brewing Company in Princeton and on his return he undertook a Brew-Lab course at Sunderland University before searching for a house where he could set up the 1BBL nano-brewery.
Phil runs Brass Castle alongside his role as a Coastguard Search and Rescue coordinator at nearby Bridlington. He works four day shifts then spends the remainder of the week brewing.
Phil says as a youth he generated pocket money working as an agricultural engineer, ploughman and as Santa Claus in the Christmas grotto at the local McDonalds. His first proper job however after studying philosophy at university was as a Lynx helicopter pilot and instructor for the Royal Navy. With Harriet working for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, they were quite often at either end of the globe from one another so when the chance came to both decamp on one of her postings, they moved to New York.
To begin with Phil worked as a negotiator for the UK Government at the UN, but inspired by the US beer scene, Phil soon went on to do some work at the Triumph Brewery – principally to begin to round-out what he had learnt from from home-brewing.
Brass Castle began life in 2011 but with the help of Ian Goodall, Phil & Harriet are also now brewing at Earl of Halifax’s Garrowby Estate brewhouse. At both locations, Phil says their equipment is fairly rudimentary and in the latter case, Victorian. All their beers currently go into casks and since Harriet and Phil are both vegan, they make their beer without the use of any animal-derived ingredients or finings.Tags: brass castle, captain oates mild, hopback, summer lightning
Some beers have a pedestal. Sometimes it’s deserved because they are truly great beers, technically and taste-wise. Some are headliners, built by a cheeky PR campaign or an elaborate story. And some are deserved winners of awards and a place within beery folklore.
Summer Lightning by Hopback falls in the latter category. Back when I was enjoying my third year on this planet and coming to terms with the fact I would soon have a baby brother stealing all of the attention in the Fletcher household, John Gilbert of the newly formed Hopback Brewery was quietly supplying his local beer festival with a special beer for their annual event. He answered their brief not with an amber bitter or a dark mild, but with a golden well-hopped beer. Read the rest of this entry »Tags: Golden Ale, hopback, pale ale, summer lightning