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High House Farm Brewery

Steve Urwin attended the Start up brewing course in 2002 looking to install a brewery on the family farm near Hadrian’s Wall in Northumbria. High House Farm had suffered from the restrictions imposed by the foot and mouth epidemic in 2002 and needed options to diversify its activities.

After a detailed planning the 10 barrel brewery was founded in 2003 in Grade II listed converted farm buildings. The brewery soon achieved success with its beers winning CAMRA Regional awards, SIBA Regional awards and SIBA National awards.

Nel’s Best, the brewery’s best selling ale, has been one of 8 finalists in the Champion Beer of Britain awards in 2003 and 2006.

6 ales are produced and 4 bottled on site. The brewery now boasts a visitor centre and has won the Countryside Alliance Best Diversification-Rural Retailer of the year in the North East in 2006, and gained a Bronze award in the North East England Tourism awards in 2006.

Being only 2 miles from the historic Hadrian’s Wall, it offers plenty of opportunity for visitor acclaim and appreciation by thirsty brewers.

Brewlab provided regular support to Steve while developing the brewery and now provides Due Diligence analyses and yeast services. In addition Brewlab students regularly visit the brewery to view the equipment and undertake placements on site for both brewing and bottling.

Steve finds regular contact with Brewlab an ideal way of keeping up to date with brewing developments and appreciates the value of placements “We try to provide as realistic a view of brewing life as possible. Students need to see the day to day activities as well as applying their theory to our brewing process. We often discuss their understanding and put it into practical context. I think they leave with more than just a day’s work behind them”.

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