In this space I shall give a little of my background and how I came into the home brewing hobby, I’m a 25 year old home brewer living in the quiet suburbs of Chelmsford, Essex and I’ll be honest, in the beginning I never had any particular interest in “real ale”, I was happy with my pub pint of Guinness and totally oblivious to any other beverage.
That was until I became friends with a guy through work who had been making kits for several years with equipment handed down from his father, when he replaced it, he handed it down to me and showed me the basic’s. This was short lived as the kits failed to meet the kind of beer I was after, this then became Brew In A Bag using a Stainless Steel pot.
Again, this was short lived and I stopped brewing for 6 months before having a crazy drunken spending spree and ending up with a Stainless Steel mash tun, pipes, pumps, the works. I then happily brewed using a 2 vessel system over the next year or so before stepping it up another gear.
I have now settled with a Braumeister and full Stainless dispense system including casks and beer engines. Whilst on one of my many trips to collecting items from people I drove by a sign for the ‘Hartford End Brewery’, forgetting about it for some time.
Eventually I drove past the sign again and decided to take a trek down the road to see where the brewery was with the intention of taking a tour (a few years too late I know!) this led to me stumbling across a defunct Ridley’s brewery and so igniting the touch paper on what would become a whirlwind research obsession.
Several months later and I have been taken in hook, line and sinker into researching and reviving these (somewhat) missed local beers, it is here I would like to share my experiences, so all of you can have a go at making historical beers and the fascinating journey that entails.
I have also amassed a rather nice collection of Ridley’s Brewery Breweriana, feel free to stop by and visit if you are ever in the area, you never know which Ridley’s might be on tap!
Until next time, Cheers!
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