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Fernandes BreweryThe Old
Avison Yard, Kirkgate, Wakefield, W. Yorkshire WF1 1UA
Steve the brewer has a certain amount of flexibility and is allowed to experiment with different hops and malts. Once a year Fernandes Brewery Tap has a Beer Festival where all the beers are from the Fernandes Brewery often on a local theme!! Malt Shovel Mild reached the finals of the CBOB competition in 2015 at GBBF in London.
Regular Beers 2016
A dark, full-bodied, malty mild with roast malt and chocolate flavours, leading to a lingering, dry, malty finish.
Ale to the Tsar (OG 1042, ABV 4.1%)
A pale, smooth, well-balanced beer with some sweetness leading to a nutty, malty and satisfying aftertaste.
Centaur (OG 1045, ABV 4.5%)
A dry, pale ale with balanced notes of orange zest, coriander and pine
Black Voodoo (OG 1050, ABV 5.1%)
Smooth, full-bodied black more-ish stout with a chocolate, orangey, vanilla flavour coming through
Double Six (OG 1062, ABV 6%)
A powerful, dark and rich strong beer with an array of malt, roast malt and chocolate flavours and a strong, lasting malty finish, with some hoppiness.
A point of interest is that pilot brews of East Coast IPA at 4.3% and East Coast Bitter 3.8% for a new brewery, East Coast, on the East Coast, at Filey, were made at Wakefield in early June 2007. Two of Dave James' all-time favourite brews, Moodies Mild and Empress of India were to go with him to his new East Coast Brewery at 3, Clay House Yard, rear of Mitford St, Filey, North Yorkshire YO14 9DX (not Five Leys as the name was already used by a local hotel) . Wakefield CAMRA met with Dave and Maureen James for a final brewery tour and social on 17th July 2007. Join their final brewery tour, here!
or lurch through the Brewery Tap's farewell party here
EXPERIENCE OF WORKING ON A SUBMARINE WOULD PROBABLY BE A HELP!
cellarman, at the time, Kevin Gameson squeezes through.
M & D Homebrew, the original business of Maureen and Dave James was situated on the shopping street of Kirkgate. Silly rents and lack of space led them to look for alternative premises, hence the move to Avison Yard, where a basement in an old malt store gave Dave the opportunity to build a brewing plant. The middle floor was the homebrew shop and off-licence, and the cavernous loft space above was a place where Dave could store the rest of the old breweriana and equipment that he was addicted to collecting. The 2˝ barrel plant was designed and built by Dave with a little help with the welding from Sean Tomlinson. Gas is used to heat the copper and the wort is cooled using a unique concentric copper tubing heat exchanger. It is probably one of the neatest and most compact breweries you might visit. Brewing took place 3 times a week to supply the Brewery Tap, wholesalers who distributed all over Britain, and some 10-12 pubs which collected direct.
The original three storey building was constructed as a maltings by Luis Fernandes, a Portuguese immigrant, who founded the original Fernandes Brewery, across the bridge in the early 1800's. That brewery and forty-two of its public houses were to be auctioned off in October 1919 and acquired by John Smiths of Tadcaster. The actual building was sold to Beverleys Brewery, Wakefield, who used it as a malt store and finally a bottle store before being acquired by the James family. A certain George Denton was one of the last Beverleys Brewery apprentices to be involved in the initiation ceremonies inflicted upon new employees. This amounted to the youngest male and female employee at the brewery being locked in the cellars overnight in nothing but their underwear! Bob Lawson of the Ossett Brewery was also an apprentice brewer at Beverleys.
Many brews were and still are named after old Wakefield pubs.
Beer to look out for in Winter-Spring 2005 included the 3.6% Butlers Bitter and a 6% rhubarb beer, and a lot of the floral hoppy 3.9% Triple O which is still a regular was around back then!
Please note that the beer lists below are by no means exhaustive - that would be a full-time job in itself!
PART OF THE BEER RANGE IN DAVE JAMES' DAYS:
|Malt Shovel Mild||3.8%||dark malty mild with chocolate & malt aftertaste|
|Best Bitter||3.8%||a light spritzy & hoppy session beer|
|Ale to the Tsar||4.1%||pale smooth easy-drinking beer with some nuttiness|
|To Be Joyful||4.3%||refreshing fruity & hoppy beer with a lingering fruity aftertaste|
|Wakefield Pride||4.5%||a light coloured clean-tasting beer with a bitter dry finish|
|Jacobs Well Premium||4.5%||dry hoppy premium bitter with a good lingering malty finish|
|Double Six||6.0%||dark powerful strong beer with an array of roast, chocolate & malt flavours leading to a lingering malty finish|
|Empress of India||6.0%||light coloured & easily drinkable fruity & hoppy beer with a complex bitter palate|
This table shows beers which were brewed in 2001 as one-offs, monthly specials plus regular beers which are not currently brewed, often just taking a rest for a while!
|Shakespeare||3.5%||surprisingly flavoury refreshing session bitter, light, hoppy & dry|
|Lord Rodney||4.1%||dark, smooth & malty porter|
|Old Spice||6.0%||Christmas beer, dark & very spicy with real rum flavours|
|Oddfellows||4.3%||malty, very heavily hopped|
|January Bitter||3.9%||light, clean & hoppy|
|Sam Weller's Extra Porter||4.7%||dark, well-bodied & fruity|
|Chancery Bitter||3.9%||pale, fruity & hoppy|
|Moody's Mild||6.0%||strong dark Sarah Hughes style mild|
|Golden Cup||5.0%||light, clean-tasting hoppy beer|
|February Bitter||3.9%||pale & hoppy, refreshing palate|
|Triple Stout||8.3%||"rocket fuel"|
|Black Cherry Stout||4.1%||fruity (from real cherries) & dark|
|Stout||4.1%||black cherry stout without black cherries in the cask!|
|Brown Stout||6.4%||biscuity brown ale with a lot of amber malt|
|Orange Blossom Ale||5.0%||orange-y clean tasting beer, also brewed at 4.9%|
|March Bitter||3.9%||a malty light brown beer|
|Lager Beer||4.2%||real cask-conditioned lager, light & hoppy|
|Olde England Country Bitter||3.9%||wonderful dark brown ale with rosehips & elderflower in the brew|
|Double Stout||7.0%||dangerous dry bitter stout|
|Millstone Best Bitter||3.9%||wedding beer, pale, fruity|
|April Bitter||3.9%||bitter, dry & hoppy|
|May Bitter||3.9%||malty, clean-tasting beer|
|The Return of the Full Moon||4.3%||bitter-tasting wheat beer|
|Cracker Jack||3.4%||dry, hoppy birthday special|
|June Bitter||3.9%||hoppy, fruity, well-bodied beer|
|Khedive Dark||4.3%||deceptive, malty strong mild|
|July Bitter||3.9%||fruity, pale, easy-drinking beer|
|August Bitter||3.6%||aromatic, pale, hoppy session beer|
|September Bitter||3.7%||malty, light & hoppy, dry beer|
|Dalby's Dark||4.6%||smoked beer|
|October Bitter||3.9%||a fruity & bitter beer|
|Partners in Crime||3.6%||a light & hoppy beer|
|Positively Public||4.2%||light & fruity, brewed for the local branch of Unison|
|White Bear Premium||4.2%||brewed with lemon balm|
|November Bitter||3.6%||light & spritzy session beer|
|Victorian Stout||5.9%||Christmas beer, smooth|
|December Premium Ale||4.9%||hoppy & dry|
|Blackberry Way||4.6%||fruity (locally gathered blackberries) & dark|
Maureen Waller, for many years Staffing Officer for Wakefield Beer Festival, then became Fernandes' BLO. She used also to be found working behind the bar of the Brewery Tap on Thursday evenings.
Some of the new brews for Summer 2003
|Summer Wheat||4.3%||naturally cloudy unfined wheatbeer with ⅓ wheat malt|
|Abitteralright =A Bit of All Right||4.5%||mid to dark brown & very malty, later brewed at 4.1%|
|TBB (Traditional Best Bitter)||3.8%|
|Damn Good Beer||4.5%|
|Barleypop1||3.3%||a pale dry malty beer with a bitter finish|
|Barleypop2||3.3%||a pale fruity & hoppy beer|
|Favourite Pastime||4.2%||malty with a bitter hop finish|
|Rolling Stock Bitter||3.9%||malty start and a dry hop finish|
|Wish You Were Here||dark smooth & malty, a Mars bar of a beer|
|Dark Side||4.7||mid-brown & malty|
Just a few of the new brews for 2004
|3.9%||the blondest of blonde beers , intensely floral hopped|
|Coffee Porter||5-6%||brewed with real coffee in early February, this experimental porter was an instant sell-out at the Brewery Tap and is likely to be re-brewed|
|Dawn Chorus||3.8%||new Summer beer, June 2004|
|Harvest Gold||3.9%||another Summer beer|
|Three Sieges||6%||re-brewed for Pontefract Liquorice Fair to Sean Tomlinson's original recipe.|
|Traditional Bitter||3.5%||what the label says|
As for the complete catalogue of beers brewed, we just can't keep up!
special thanks to our colleagues at Huddersfield & District Camra for use of material from their site. They can be found by going to CAMRA Near You .
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