In 2004 Wolverhampton’s Dave Clare amazed me by saying that since the large breweries stopped brewing and moved into management, many small breweries have been set up – see list below of those in this region. He says that this is largely being done by young people, some with a family history in this industry but others completely new to it. The latest entrants to join this extensive list are the Whitworths and the Bennets.
Steve Whitworth from Dunard Road, Shirley, made his garage into a home brewery – now named as one of the region’s best in the Campaign for Real Ale‘s 2013 Good Beer Guide. His Sobriety Ale is in demand, with production rising from a single 200-litre brew a week to 800 litres.
Also appearing in the breweries section of the CAMRA guide for the first time is Aston-based ten-barrel capacity Beer Geek, run by Great Barr couple Paul and Karen Bennett, who also began producing beers this year. Moving on from academia, director and head brewer Dr Paul Bennet has been running a successful business in engineering consultancy.
I was asked whether real ale has any distinguishing features, so set up a search which told me that the term `real ale` was coined by CAMRA to describe a type of beer brewed from traditional ingredients, matured in the container from which it is dispensed, and served without the use of added carbon dioxide.
If the beer is unfiltered, unpasteurised and the yeast continues to ferment, it is said to be a real beer – whether it is in a cask or a bottle. Keg beer, on the other hand, is filtered, pasteurised and has added carbon dioxide for dispensing.
To see Dave Clare`s remarkable list of microbreweries  click here.