Brewery News

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

How to Win 18 Pints of Beer

How would you like to win 18 pints of beer?  All you have to do is enter our free Name the Beer competition by sending your suggestions to us at Brentwood Brewery by 28th February.

The beer that needs a name is the collaboration brew we’ve just created with Billericay Brewing Company, a new IPA 5% ABV.

Please contact us by email ([email protected]) with Beer Name Competition Entry in the title or via Twitter or Facebook, @BrentwoodBrewCo.  Reminder:  Closing date is 28th February.

The winner, who will be picked jointly by Roland from Brentwood and Trevor from Billericay, will receive an 18 pint Polypin of the new collaboration brew.

This collaboration ale is a celebration of the new friendly agreement that exists between us and Billericay Brewery, to work more closely and co-operatively together.

The new collaboration IPA is due to be officially launched on March 21st at Billericay Brewing Company’s Spring Beer Festival which runs 21st – 24th March.

We’re holding our own Spring Beer Festival at Brentwood Brewery from 11am – 5pm on Saturday 13th April.

Love Beer, Love Brentwood



Farewell Dean

We’re all going to miss Brewery Manager Dean Beckwith’s cheerful smile when he leaves us today (Friday 1st February) for pastures new.

When he first joined the team he made our beer deliveries and we named him Dean the Dray.  Since changing roles to Brewery Manager, he’s made sure our production schedules and stock level targets are met and that everything runs smoothly in the brewery.

“It’s been fun.  They’re a really nice bunch of guys and the beer’s quality.

“The one thing I won’t miss though is Ethan’s really loud, really heavy rock music!  I like most music but I’m more of a 50s and 60s style, rock and roll sort of guy.

“I’ve loved talking to people in the brewery shop at weekends, enjoyed all the festivals and the brewery Panto was a good craic but, I guess, all good things must come to an end,” said Dean.

The cast of Jack and the Beer Stalk, Brentwood Brewery’s Panto 2018.
Photo by Wendy Pike

Who could forget?  There’s Nothin’ Like (Dean as) a Dame.  Dean played our Panto dame brilliantly as Jack’s Mum in Jack and the Beerstalk at our Christmas Beer Festival last year.  It’s fair to say Dean threw himself wholeheartedly into the role,  thoroughly entertaining everybody and throwing some amazing shapes to all the sing-a-long tunes.

It’s not the first time Dean has volunteered to dress up for the brewery.  A few years ago, in a long, blonde wig and a dress, he appeared alongside Head Brewer Ethan in a promotional video for Elephant School Beer.

His talents don’t end here though.  Dean is a trained chef and has often been in charge of catering on our snack van, Beer Grylls, at numerous events and beer festivals.  It’s no secret, Dean makes a mean meat pie.


Roland said:  “Lugging casks around is a young man’s game as we all come to discover.

“We’re delighted Dean has offered to come back and help out if we’re short.  And he’s promised to take part in our next Panto, The Drunkest Showman.”

“Dean is a lovely man who will do anything for anyone.  We’ll miss him and we wish him all the best.”

Cheers Dean & good luck in your new job.

Love Beer, Love Brentwood

Tryanuary Fun

At Brentwood Brewery’s Tryanuary event, festival goers embraced the chance to try something different.  Visitors enthusiastically supped new beer styles and flavours, tasted a variety of game fare and took part in some zany brewery World Record challenges.

The idea behind the beer festival was to encourage people to try or experience something for the first time.

“A big thank you to everyone who came along to support the event.  We were delighted to see so many people enjoying themselves at the brewery on such a dull, damp, January day.

“We had fun with our World Record attempts to see how fast you could drink a third of a pint with a teaspoon and how far you could throw a cocktail stick.  The challenges raised a little bit of cash for SNAP charity,” said Managing Director Roland Kannor.

Matthew – The Disney Guy

An experienced performer but playing at the brewery for the first time, Brentwood singer Matthew Haslam-Hammond, otherwise known as The Disney Guy, entertained everyone with a repertoire of popular tunes like Under the Sea from Disney’s The Little Mermaid.

Remembering School Days

Matthew also managed to catch up with his old school pal, Head Brewer Ethan, although they remembered each other by their school nicknames – HH and Pace.

Matthew’s performance went down well with the brewery audience.  His big dream is to appear on a much bigger stage and to wow crowds at the Brentwood Festival one day.

Special Guests

Among the many beer fans who came along to Tryanuary were members of the local CAMRA group, including the brewery’s liaison officer Beryl and her husband Trevor.  And Billericay Brewing Company’s Director, Trevor Jeffery, popped in.

Lumberjack Andy

The brewery team recognised some other familiar faces.  Andy Webb and his dog Pippa.  Andy left his Lumberjack costume at home this time.  Was he drinking a pint of Brentwood Lumberjack though?


Also, puppy Rubble, now four months old, who has grown so much since his last brewery visit at the brewery’s Christmas Beer Festival.  It seems Rubble enjoys a good beer festival.

The Ale

Beer fans were able to choose from a list of 10 draught real ales, all Brentwood and Elephant School beers except for the Chilli Porter 5.9% by Billericay Brewing.

Made by Caro B

Caroline of Made by Caro B was mixing mocktails using ingredients from her drinks range of shrub sodas.  Boozy hot chocolate was another alternative for non-beer drinkers.

The Cart Shed

Burgers of venison or pheasant as well as venison curry were on the menu at the Cart Shed’s snack van, a converted horse box, which was parked outside the brewery.

William of the Cart Shed restaurant in Epping was kept busy serving hungry festival goers with  assistance from Leah.

Spring Beer Festival in April

“Ethan won the cocktail stick throwing challenge, managing an impressive 6.2 metres.  If anyone wants to challenge him for the title, we look forward to hosting another contest at our Spring Beer Festival on Saturday 13th April,” added Roland.

Love Beer, Love Brentwood

Breweries Working Together

Brentwood Brewing Company and Billericay Brewing Company have decided to work more closely together.  Whilst this informal, friendly arrangement will see the two breweries working in co-operation with each other, they will continue to operate as separate companies, each retaining their own identity, highly regarded, popular, award-winning beers and brands.

Despite being commercial rivals, a friendly relationship has existed between Brentwood Brewing Company and Billericay Brewing Company for some years.  The two Essex craft breweries aim to build on this neighbourly relationship, to their mutual benefit.

It Makes Sense

For example, sharing deliveries will benefit both companies by not only reducing costs but their carbon footprints too.

Roland Kannor, Managing Director of Brentwood Brewing Company said:  “The small brewing industry is very tough at the moment with 29 pubs a week shutting, four new breweries a week opening and a 20% increase in the price of barley for 2019.

“It makes perfect sense for breweries, like Brentwood and Billericay, to work together to utilise spare capacity in brewing, deliveries and staff to cut costs and to reduce their carbon footprints.”

Working Together in the Spirit of Co-operation

Roland Kannor and Trevor Jeffery | photo by Wendy Pike

Billericay Brewing will make use of the extra production capacity that Brentwood Brewery has to offer.  Brentwood’s bigger brewhouse facilities,  next door to Calcott Hall Farm Shop off Ongar Road in Pilgrims Hatch, mean that Billericay can brew four times more beer per batch than before.

Trevor Jeffery, Director of Billericay Brewing Company said: “We are now at full capacity at Billericay Brewery and struggling to keep up with demand, so it will be a great move for us to brew our best-selling beers at the larger Brentwood Brewery.

“Shifting this production will also give us more space at Billericay and so we will be able to serve even more people at our popular micro-pub and brewery every weekend.”


Billericay Dickie

The first batch of Billericay Brewing Company beer, Billericay Dickie 4.2% ABV (a balanced amber ale with biscuit notes), has already been brewed at Brentwood.

Brentwood Gold

Bottles of popular Brentwood beers, like Brentwood Gold 4.3% ABV, will continue to be available at Billericay Brewery in their Essex Beer Shop.  Billericay Brewery’s onsite bar, micro-pub and shop are just off Billericay High Street in Chapel Street.

Collaboration Brew & Competition

To celebrate this new arrangement, the two local breweries are planning a collaboration brew which should be ready for drinking in March.  The new IPA 5% ABV beer is yet to be named, so the breweries have launched a competition inviting suggestions.  There is an 18 pint Polypin of the new brew for the winner.

The new collaboration beer is due to be officially launched at Billericay Brewery’s Spring Beer Festival which runs from 21st – 24th March.

Brentwood Brewing Company began trading in 2006.   Billericay Brewing Company started in 2012.  Both companies are run by people with a passion for making and drinking the finest craft beer.

“We’re all looking forward to finding lots of other ways that we can work together in the future,” added Trevor.

Love Beer, Love Brentwood

Beer, Games, Music & Food for Tryanuary Beer Fest

We’re getting really excited about our Tryanuary Beer Festival this Saturday (26th January).  We hope you can join us at Brentwood Brewery anytime between  11am – 5pm.

The aim of the festival is to try something new for the first time.

Along with a diverse drinks menu which includes interesting, new beer flavours and styles, there’ll be fermented mocktails using shrub sodas and water Kefir by Caro B, forager Prosecco cocktails as well as Choc and a Shot – hot chocolate with a shot of something (alcoholic) in it.

The Cart Shed Restaurant (based in Epping) will be joining us to tempt you with some tasty game fare including their Venison Curry.

Our friends at SNAP charity are organising some fun games and ‘World Record’ attempts for you to get involved in.  Have you ever tried to find out how quickly you can drink half a pint of beer with a teaspoon?  Or seen how far you can throw a cocktail stick?  These are just some of the zany activities the brewery has planned.

The entertainment is set to continue with music from The Disney Guy – Matthew Haslam-Hammond from 2pm.  The Brentwood singer, who performs gigs throughout Essex, describes his genre of music as ‘pop, punk, acoustic Disney’ and himself as ‘a hero to some, village idiot to others’.  His burning ambition is to perform at The Brentwood Festival.

Tryanuary has lots of new and interesting beer, food, activities and music for you to experience.  Don’t worry, we’ll have some of your Brentwood Beer favourites to enjoy too.  See you for a pint on Saturday?

Love Beer, Love Brentwood


Go Low-Cal, Low Alcohol BBC1

If you’re struggling to complete your Dryanuary challenge or have kicked off the new year on a weight loss diet, Brentwood Brewery has some marvellous news for you.

If no alcohol in January is proving too tough going, can we suggest going low alcohol with us instead?  Our BBC1 is bursting with real ale goodness and flavour yet is just 1.5% ABV.

Low-Cal BBC1

More wonderful news.  A 500ml bottle of BBC1 is just 80 calories.  That’s fewer than an apple (about 95 calories) and less than half the calories of a standard beer.  Typically a 4% beer is approximately 200 calories and 6% about 250.

Wine drinkers might be tempted to switch tipples too when they discover a bottle of BBC1 is half the calorific value of a standard 175ml glass of wine at around 160 calories.

Calories V Exercise

For anyone not completely au fait with calorie counting, what does this mean?  In terms of the amount of exercise required to burn off a standard 4% ABV beer at 200 calories, it would take roughly:

  • half an hour of moderate swimming or singles tennis or football
  • three quarters of an hour walking or walking the dog or yoga
  • 1 hour playing darts or bowling or volleyball

BBC1,  our Beer of the Month for January, is a ridiculously drinkable, light brown coloured ale.  It offers loads of flavours that burst on the palate from the mix of Columbus, Chinook, Citra and Cascade hops.  BBC1 is available in 500ml bottles or Polypins from the Brewery Shop or online.

Head Brewer Ethan Kannor Pouring Himself a Bottle of BBC1 | Photo by Wendy Pike

Brentwood Brewery Tap Room is open six days a week.  Why not pop in for a pint?

Love Beer, Love Brentwood

Tryanuary Beer Festival

Trying something new for the New Year is the idea behind Brentwood Brewery’s Tryanuary Beer Festival on Saturday 26th January.  From new beers to new foods and new pastimes, Tryanuary Festival will be the perfect opportunity for you to experience something you’ve not tried or done before.

The Cart Shed Restaurant (based in Epping) will be joining us at Brentwood Brewery to tempt you with some tasty game fare including their Venison Curry.

As for new entertainments, have you ever tried to find out how quickly you can drink half a pint of beer with a teaspoon?  Or seen how far you can throw a cocktail stick?  These are just some of the zany activities and challenges the brewery has planned.

There will be some new beer styles and recipes to try too along with some spiced cider and speciality soft drinks.

More details to follow closer to the event.

Hope you can join us.

Love Beer, Love Brentwood


Panto Brings Festive Cheer

As tradition dictates there was a panto dame, a hapless hero and plenty of audience participation.  That perhaps is where most similarities to any other panto you’ve ever seen, end.  But this free-to-watch, low-to-no-budget production, Jack and the Beer Stalk, was hugely energetic, heartwarming and so very uplifting.  Of course, unique.   Brentwood Brewery MD Roland Kannor, who acted as narrator, was solely responsible for the script.  And most likely, all the corny jokes.  As you might expect from Roland, they were plentiful.

The cast of Jack and the Beer Stalk, Brentwood Brewery’s Panto
Photo by Wendy Pike

Enthusiastic Cast

Goldie and Jack ‘treading the boards’. Photo by Wendy Pike

Performed by an enthusiastic cast of brewery staff and friends, other roles included a hard-to-sell cow called Brexit, which the audience front rows soon learned had very leaky udders, a lumberjack (Andy Webb) and a talking bottle of Brentwood Gold, otherwise known as Goldie (Penny Hollington).  The brewery’s own Statler and Waldorf Muppet Show theatre balcony critics, along with a host of extras, completed the cast.

Goldie the talking bottle of Brentwood Gold (aka Penny Hollington) with Jack (Ethan Kannor).
Photo by Wendy Pike

Lumberjack Andy
Photo by Wendy Pike

Hard-to-sell Brexit the cow (with leaky udders)
Photo by Wendy Pike

Audience enjoying the panto.
Photo by Wendy Pike

(Losing) The Plot

The audience was taken on an entertaining journey which sees the fortunes of poor Jack (Head Brewer Ethan Kannor) and his rather eccentric mother (Brewery Manager Dean Beckwith) take a turn for the worse when Jack has one too many in the pub and sells the family cow, Brexit, for a bag of hops.  Miraculously things do eventually turnaround for the family of craft brewers and the story culminates in a happy-ever-after ending for all.

And they all lived happily ever after.
Photo by Wendy Pike


Just when you thought it couldn’t get any quirkier, the whole production was filmed by another cow, an over-sized Friesian in the front row, with the intention of live-streaming it on Facebook.

Oversized Friesan seen in front row eating ice cream and filming whole production. Has anyone seen Shannon?
Photo by Wendy Pike


Action at the panto.
Photo by Wendy Pike

Familiar sing-a-long tunes with words written out for the audience to follow, with help from a large pointy stick, ably wielded by office manager Carol Tomsett, and some hilarious dancing from Jack’s Mum with help from a variety of other cast members, added to the fun.

Jack’s Mum – rather eccentric, bit bossy and a fashion sense best described as quirky. (Brewery Manager Dean)
Photo by Wendy Pike

One festival goer was spotted napping.   But ten week old bulldog puppy Rubble can be excused for falling asleep on his owner’s shoulder.

Too much excitement for Rubble the bulldog puppy. Photo by Wendy Pike

Beer Elves Were Busy

Good Elf, Elf ’n’ Safety and Elf ’n’ Happiness behind the bar served those who bought participation tickets for the panto with a variety of six different Brentwood ales at the appropriate moments throughout the show.

Good Elf, Elf ‘n’ Safety & Elf ‘n’ Happiness busy serving beer to audience members taking part in the Panto.

SNAP Charity

Included in the participation ticket price was a donation to Warley-based charity Special Needs and Parents (SNAP).  The charity also had a stall at the Brewery’s Christmas Beer Festival on Saturday (8th December) which is when the panto took place.  SNAP volunteers were kept busy selling the charity’s Christmas cards and raffle tickets as well as running games and competitions for children of all ages.

Sam Tandy from SNAP with the SNAP stall run with help by volunteers. Photo by Wendy Pike

JW Ice Cream Company

There were mince pie flavoured ice cream samples to try in the short interval, supplied by J W Ice Cream Company, specialist alcoholic ice cream makers based at Chafford Hundred (  The company also had a popular stall at the festival, serving ice cream tasters and selling individual tubs of their delicious products.

JW Ice Cream Company L-R Shans, Jay, Tracy and Mia
Photo by Wendy Pike

Shenfield Operatic Society

Earlier in the day, members of Shenfield Operatic Society came along with their Musical Director Alli Smith to sing Christmas carols to festival goers and to promote their latest show, All Shook Up, which runs at The Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch 30th Jan – 2nd Feb.  Along with lots of popular, traditional carols, the group gave a hearty rendition of The Twelve (Brentwood) Beers of Christmas.  (See the video – in the brewery’s next blog post.)

Members of Shenfield Operatic Society in fine voice at the brewery’s Christmas Beer Festival.
Photo by Wendy Pike

Next Year

If you happened to miss the panto, (and it really was an amusing sight to behold) there are whispers of another possible panto production next year.  Let’s raise a glass to that.

Local CAMRA members with Brewery Liaison Officer Beryl (in pink) with Roland.
Photo by Wendy Pike


Roland and the Brewery Team would like to thank everyone who came along to watch, participate and perform in the panto.  Special thanks go to our local CAMRA group and Brewery Liaison Officer Beryl, Shenfield Operatic Society, SNAP charity, JW Ice Cream Company and Lillypuds, as well as all visitors to the Christmas Beer Festival. 

Panto Audience Participants enjoying a beer and a sing-a-long.
Photo by Wendy Pike

Love Beer, Love Brentwood

Beer Hampers

If you’re stuck for a Christmas gift idea for someone who loves real ale, we’d like to recommend … a Brentwood Beer Hamper.

It contains 4 x bottles of Brentwood Beer, a pint glass, a bar towel, a pen & a bottle-opening keyring, all packaged in a gift hamper.  All for £22.

Beer Hampers can be ordered on our website but are for collection only from the Brewery Shop (we feel the glass is quite likely to break if we try to post them).

Or if you’re passing, you could call in and buy a hamper from the Brewery Shop.  As you know, we’re next door to Calcott Hall Farm Shop.

Love Beer, Love Brentwood