A new microbrewery, aimed at putting Horncastle “on the map” is set to be launched ext week by a family with a passion for the perfect pint.
The plan to open a microbrewery fed an already growing passion for traditional real ale that Ross and Sally Ellis discovered after moving to Old Nick’s Tavern with their three daughters in 2005.
Under their hands, the pub soon turned into one of Lincolnshire’s most respected live music venues.
But Ross and Sally soon recognised the potential to further grow their business and to raise awareness of traditional ale by opening a microbrewery.
When asked why Horncastle needs a microbrewery, Ross Ellis said, “The pub industry in general needs to change and adapt to the demands of customers and the public as a whole. With the resurgence of interest in real ale, Sally and I felt that we could meet those changing consumer needs as well as help develop the local economy.”
With the help of a £50,000 grant from the East Lindsey District Council’s Rural Development Fund, the project was given the stimulus it needed to bring it into operation ahead of schedule.
Although Horncastle Ales is the brainchild of Ross and Sally Ellis, one of their daughters, Elizabeth Ellis, will be running the microbrewery itself, which is planned to provide a tourist attraction for ale enthusiasts with brewery tours and a brew day experience. Ross said that they aim to put Horncastle “on the map” in terms of real ale production.
Elizabeth herself has also been bitten by the “real ale bug”, after developing her knowledge, skill base and experience at Fulstow Breweries in Louth under the tutelage of Phil Ellis (no relation).
“I’m extremely excited about getting the brewery up and running,” Elizabeth said, “and I’m even more excited about making our very first brew.” Elizabeth will lead an all-girl team in the brewery with Alissa Moody and Kayleigh Dobson developing new skills.
The brewery will soon see food reintroduced to Old Nick’s as well and provide extra local employment and longer opening hours.
There is also a new Horncastle Ales Brew Clubfor anyone with a passion for real ale who wish to meet likeminded people. It costs £20 a year and members will receive benefits such as discounted drinks and opportunities to sample new ales brewed on site.