There’s been brewing on the National Trust’s Calke Abbey Estate for hundreds of years. One of the main reasons back in the 1800’s was making beer for all the Estate workers who were given an allocation of beer each day – rumoured to be around 5-6 pints. The Estate staff would have numbered close to a thousand in summer, so the brewing operation was quite a big one. The theory then was that if you drank beer you stayed healthy and if you drank water you often got sick.
The former Brewhouse is now open to the public at Calke Abbey as part of the house tour and all the traditional equipment is still there, although dilapidated now – for full details visit the National Trust website www.nationaltrust.org.uk/calke-abbey
Throughout the brew process we are conscientious about minimising any ‘waste’ we produce. We try our upmost to be a green business at every opportunity and this is demonstrated in the way that we reuse the ‘waste’ products from every brew. At the end of each day, barley left in the mash tun is taken to the farm less than half a mile away where it is mixed with sileage and fed to the pigs. The farm in turn supply meat to the National Trust Calke Abbey Estate kitchens, another mile away. All our used hops also end up on the Calke Abbey Estate, added to the huge compost heaps, for the Calke Abbey gardeners. Spent hops are still acidic and are a very desirable addition to the compost heap.