Beer fans brew up perfect pints

Revealing the secrets of the Grainstore brewery
Revealing the secrets of the Grainstore brewery

Brewer Rory Gibson with a Ruddles beer caskPhoto: Lee Hellwing

Hours of dedicated work has gone into each cask of beer produced by the team at the Oakham-based brewery.

Only the finest products are used in producing the first class brews sold at the business’s bar at the site near Oakham level crossing.

Regulars at the quaint characterful bar can choose from drinks ranging in strength from Rutland Bitter at 3.4 abv up to Winter’s Nip at 7.3 abv.

Tony Davis, who learnt his trade at Ruddles Brewery, and Mike Davies first started the Grainstore in September 1995.

Since then brewers Rory Gibson and Richard Phoenix have taken up the mantle of producing the brews.

Rory, who has been at the Grainstore for two years, said: “Beer making should be so simple.

“It’s not just a job. It is something I love.

“You see people standing at the bar drinking a beer that you have brewed and you feel proud and honoured.”

Rory and Richard inhabit a strange world of hissing pipes and bubbling vessels.

They take great care in ensuring their beer is of the highest quality using the best ingredients - with differing ingredients used to produce the various brews.

Currently the Grainstore produces 12 beers on sale all of the year and some seasonal ones.

They can brew 4,400 pints, or 2,500 litres, four times a week.

They are sold in casks varying in size from 30 pints up to 88 pints.

They ship beer to pubs as far afield as Milton Keynes, Birmingham, King’s Lynn and Derby.

It takes seven days from starting a brew to been able to tap the cask and let it settle for sale.

Rory said: “Once the beer is finished we have to check it to see if it is clear and the flavour is there. Then it can be sent to the pubs. We aim for uniformity in our beers so no matter where you buy a pint of say Osprey it will be exactly the same as anywhere else.”

The bar was originally put in to raise funds to sustain the business and it was extended and became permanent.

The building the Grainstore is in dates back to the 1850s when it was grain store for the railway.

In the early 1900s the building became a Post Office sorting office and then it became derelict.

It finally gained a new lease of life as a brewery.