The collaboration beer by Billericay and Brentwood Breweries celebrating their new friendly, co-operative working relationship was launched at Billericay’s Spring Beer Festival with help from local author Sylvia Kent.
At the launch, writer and author Sylvia supped a small taster of the new beer, Workhouse IPA 5%, which has a link to the latest local history book she is writing. Her twelfth book, Brentwood in 50 Buildings, published by Amberley, is due out this summer and depending upon the final edit should include Brentwood’s surviving workhouse building.
“Judged by today’s standards, the very idea of the workhouse and family separation – a routine and accepted part of workhouse life – seems barbaric.”Sylvia Kent, Local Historian, Writer & Author
Brentwood’s surviving workhouse building, dating back to 1788, is at 27 Hart Street formerly known as Back Street. Extended in 1805 to accommodate more paupers, the building has also been a bordello. And since at least the 1880s, a pub. It is currently The Gardeners.
Serving 26 parishes, Billericay Union Workhouse was built in 1840 and was also later extended. The workhouse building at Grey Lady Place off Norsey Road has more recently been converted into luxury private homes.
“We went for the name Workhouse as there were workhouses in both Billericay and Brentwood and we know brewing beer is very hard work!”Billericay Brewing Company Director Trevor Jeffery.
Workhouse IPA, was named in a competition won by Graham Seal of Colchester via his Facebook page, Mancave Beer Reviews. He won an 18 pint Polypin of the new beer. Everyone who entered the competition received a free pint voucher.
The brewers were encouraged by feedback from festival goers who sampled some free tasters at Billericay’s Spring Beer Festival. Consensus was that the light, citrusy, floral ale would be especially refreshing in the summer.
The New England style IPA was expertly brewed by Brentwood’s Head Brewer Ethan Kannor and Billericay Brewer Dave Golding using a mixture of malts and five different hops including some not so common ones like Rakau, Teiheke from New Zealand and English Olicana.
“We’re hoping our Workhouse brings people together to enjoy themselves. Workhouse IPA will certainly be on the beer list at our Spring Beer Festival on Saturday 13th April at Brentwood Brewery.”Brentwood Brewing Company MD Roland Kannor