Launching Workhouse IPA

A new collaboration brew celebrating the friendly, closer working relationship between Brentwood and Billericay breweries, Workhouse IPA 5%, is to be launched at Billericay Brewery’s Spring Beer Festival on Thursday 21st April at 4pm.

The two breweries are extending an invitation to real ale fans to join them at the beer launch to raise a toast to local craft breweries and to taste some Workhouse IPA  ‘a hoppy little number’, expertly brewed by Head Brewer Ethan Kannor from Brentwood and Brewer Rob Heywood from Billericay.

Video:  Rob Heywood, Working Hard Brewing Workhouse IPA

As you might expect the exact recipe is a trade secret, but the breweries have revealed that Workhouse IPA contains a mixture of malts and five different hops including some more uncommon ones like Rakau and Teiheke from New Zealand and English Olicana.

Workhouse IPA’s Mixture of Malts

Name the Beer Competition

A free competition was held recently to determine the name of the new beer which was won by Graham Seal of Colchester who got in touch via his Facebook page, Mancave Beer Reviews.  Everyone who entered the competition will be receiving a voucher for a free pint and Graham wins an 18 pint Polypin of Workhouse IPA.

“We went for Workhouse as there were workhouses in both Billericay and Brentwood and we know brewing beer is very hard work!” said Billericay Brewing Company Director Trevor Jeffery.

Brentwood’s Old Workhouse Building is Now a Pub

Workhouse buildings remain in both towns but now serve very different purposes.

Brentwood’s only surviving workhouse building (there were several) dates back to 1788 and has been a pub since at least the 1880s.  The building in Back Street, now known as Hart Street, was extended in 1805 to accommodate more paupers.  Number 27 Hart Street is still a pub. It’s The Gardeners.

Local Historian, Writer and Author Sylvia Kent:

“Judged by today’s standards, the very idea of the workhouse and family separation –  a routine and accepted part of workhouse life – seems barbaric,” said Billericay based local historian, award-winning writer and established author, Sylvia Kent.

Billericay Workhouse Served the Poor From 26 Parishes

Billericay Workhouse 1900
Old Postcard With Thanks to Local Historian Sylvia Kent

Billericay Union Workhouse was built in 1840 following the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act.  With increasing demand from the 26 parishes it served, the workhouse was later extended.  More recently the former workhouse building at Grey Lady Place off Norsey Road was converted into luxury private homes.

Former Billericay Workhouse Now Luxury Homes – Photo by Sylvia Kent

Sylvia Kent added:  “The 1834 Act was aimed at discouraging people from applying for charity by ensuring that the lowest level of paid work outside the workhouse would be preferable to the degrading and arduous life within its’ walls.

“Only those exempted by extreme infirmity were not expected to earn their keep, often by means of hard and tedious tasks, such as oakum picking (unravelling lengths of rope), stone-breaking (for use in paths and roads), gardening, and the mainly female province of domestic or nursing work.

“In the belief that their parents’ need to seek charity constituted ‘a bad influence’, children were routinely separated from their parents.  Family members rarely met whilst resident within the workhouse walls.”

Hopes for Workhouse IPA

Brentwood Brewing Company MD Roland Kannor said:  “We’re rather hoping our Workhouse IPA brings people together to enjoy themselves over a well-deserved pint, at both breweries’ spring beer festivals.  Firstly at the beer launch at Billericay Brewery on 21st March and at Brentwood Brewery on Saturday 13th April where we’ll be serving a range of cask and draught ales all brewed in Brentwood.  Our new collaboration brew Workhouse IPA will certainly be on the beer list.”

Spring Beer Festivals

Billericay Brewery’s Spring Beer Festival runs  21st – 24th March.  The beverage list includes more than 20 beers along with wines, ciders and perries.  The festival is open Thursday 1-10.30pm, Friday & Saturday 11am – 10.30pm and Sunday 11am – 7pm. Billericay Brewery is just off the High Street at 54c Chapel Street, Billericay, CM12 9LS.

Brentwood Brewery’s Spring Beer Festival is Saturday 13th April 11am – 5pm at Brentwood Brewery, Calcott Hall Farm, off Ongar Road, Pilgrims Hatch, Brentwood, CM15 9HS.

Love Beer, Love Brentwood

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