The Cheshire Brewhouse is currently a 5BBL microbrewery based in Congleton Cheshire. The driving force behind the scenes is Shane Swindells a 42 year old multi-skilled engineer with a real passion for quality cask and bottle conditioned ales. Shane is a great believer in local products and is passionate about supporting business local to him, rather than the multinationals and the Cheshire Brewhouse strives wherever possible to use british products and suppliers when making our beers.
The Cheshire Brewhouse is slightly different than most new start up microbreweries. We truly are dedicated to attention to detail, and have gone that one step further to hand craft the best British cask ale we can possibly make. With over 20 years experience in engineering food manufacturing and brewing, Shane, decided to build the current brewery himself. The brewery equipment is definitely not off the peg and features a few pieces of equipment, which we hope you agree, help us make the beer we produce stand out from the crowd.
The idea of starting the Cheshire Brewhouse was planted back in the sands of time. Shane our head brewer has been around beer, in one way or another, for most of his natural life. He grew up the son of a publican, and cask conditioned beer, was a daily, product enjoyed by the many thousands of customers that crossed the thresholds of the Cheshire pubs he grew up in.
Cask ale bottle conditioned beers Cheshire micro brewery. In the late 1980’s, Shane dabbled with brewing, making country wines and boots beer kits, for a couple of years, but as enjoyable quality drinks, they just didn’t cut it and the interest in brewing waned, due to lack of available knowledge or equipment. However, he still had a great passion for quality beer, he then spent many evenings over the next few years enjoying many different commercial cask beers from as many breweries as he could, (He tells us that was just for product research). Hunting out, the beer of all beers.
However, in 2007 shortly after, landing a job as an engineer, with Molson Coors at Burton Brewery. Shane’s passion with brewing the cask ales he loved, was once again ignited. The smells sights and processes at Molson Coors north brewery, made him feel like an inquisitive child again, and as a result Shane spent hour upon hour learning as much as he could about the brewing process, from as many knowledgeable “beer” people as he could find.
Many eminent brewing and engineering brains were picked and pestered to gain as much knowledge as he could, about how to make the best quality most repeatable beer possible, and when not working he spent hour upon hour reading books, surfing the internet, to unlock the secrets of the mysterious world of brewing.
After all it is a common known fact that “brewer’s make wort and yeast make beer” therefore to enable the production of the highest quality cask conditioned ales possible, you need to be very sympathetic to the demands and needs of the yeast you look after as a brewer.
Cheshire micro Brewer brewery cask conditioned ale beer Shane decided to truly understand the process he must get his hands dirty and brew beer, to be a yeast herder was to be his destiny, and a 150ltr stainless steel microbrewery was soon built in his garage at home.
We still have the 1bbl plant in place at the microbrewery and will be using it for test brews and limited edition bottle conditioned beers. Keep an eye out in your local specialist bottled beer suppliers for these up and coming brews.
It was at this time Shane joined the Northern Craft Brewers a group of very knowledgeable all grain brewers, who hold several gatherings a year, with the aim of sharing knowledge and helping each other brew better craft real ales and lagers.
Shane soon joined the NCB committee and later became involved in helping to organise events and competitions for the group of craft brewers.
Although brewing at home, was fascinating and enjoyable it wasn’t enough, and Shane wanted to share the beers he was producing with a wider audience, therefore at the end of 2011, Shane decided it was about time to go commercial, he was happy with the beers he wanted to produce, and wanted to share them with the general public. Therefore he set about looking for suitable equipment to build a 5BBL microbrewery. Over many months a selection of tanks were purchased from various sources and stored at home, to the great delight of his family.
Once the vessels were in place it was time to look for a suitable place to install the tanks, and build the “Cheshire Brewhouse” we moved into our current home in early May 2012.
Much scribbling on paper followed and designs were bashed out, then, finally decided on. Shane set about the Job of Building “The Cheshire Brewhouse”. We currently, have a 5 Brewers Barrel Brew length, which can be upgraded to 10BBL very easily.