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Monday, 19 March 2018

All hail the ale!

Just off the Stourbridge Ring Road, only a minute or two by foot from the main shopping area, lies Craddock’s Brewery.  Yesterday I paid it a visit.
Situated behind a quaint and cosy pub, this brewery defies all expectations, because for all its compact nature, it manages to supply the pub to which it’s attached, and three others owned by the company, with a constant supply of ale.
Now you know me, I don’t drink ale. But I had booked the brewery tour as a present for my partner, and so for that reason, plus the fact that I seldom turn down new experiences, I accompanied him.
To be truthful, I wasn’t expecting much. Our admission ticket included pie and mash at the end of the tour, and prior to the event I thought that would most likely be all I got out of the experience.
I was wrong.
The owner of the brewery, David Craddock, conducted the tour himself and proved to be witty, approachable and exceptionally knowledgeable, not just about the process of making good beer, but the history of it.
Along with the others in the tour I sniffed hops, tasted some of the ingredients used to flavour the drink and asked numerous questions. All were answered with ease and appreciation.
At the end of the tour came the sampling. Generous volumes of ale were handed out and I did take a sip of each one and even as a novice and proclaimed wine drinker, I had to admit that there were subtleties of flavour I hadn’t expected.
And I was particularly interested to learn that David plans to open a bar right in the heart of Birmingham, funded by Crowdfunding, where profits will go to charity. As a true believer in giving back to the community, I think it’s a great idea and wish him well.
So if you like ale, or you’re just looking for a novel day out, take the Craddock’s Brewery tour. Oh and by the way, the pie and mash was great too!

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