St Austell Brewery has had the equivalent of a heart transplant – making it a 24-hour brewing operation for the first time in the company’s 160-year history.
The £550,000 investment involved the installation of bespoke new equipment including a malt mill, grist case, mash tun and hop back, all of which were manufactured in the UK and installed into the existing historic Brewery buildings by Cornish engineering and building contractors.
The work was necessary because of the phenomenal popularity of St Austell’s beers, most notably Tribute. The latest equipment increases brewing capacity from 100,000 pints and day to 150,000 pints a day – 80% of which is Tribute.
It marked an historical moment in the Brewery’s history as the old mash tun and malt mill were the last pieces of original brewhouse still in regular use. All of the brewhouse equipment has now been installed within the last 12 years, the mill and mash tun completing the final link in the modernisation of the historic Brewery.
Both the old malt mill, which was manufactured by Richard Adlam in 1887, and the old mash tun, made by Llewellyn and James in 1912, were bought by St Austell Brewery founder Walter Hicks.
When the Victorian equipment was removed it was working harder than ever in its 100-year life - producing twice the volume of beer it had been designed for. It will now be displayed in the Brewery’s Visitor Centre.
The work was the final stage of a multi-million pound continual investment over recent years, making the whole brewing process within the Victorian brewery state-of-the-art, and seeing it through the 21st century.Head Brewer Roger Ryman said: “At St Austell Brewery we are proud of our heritage, yet remain a contemporary business committed to assuring the brewing of beer, and protecting jobs in Cornwall. This latest investment assures our future as an independent brewer of cask ales for another generation. Walter Hicks, who built our brewery in 1893 would be proud to see how we have progressed and innovated over the years.’’
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