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Charles Wells'  aptly named Wandering Brewer Project: 22 beers to be created in collaborations over the next two years

Charles Wells becomes a Wandering Brewer

Next week sees the official launch of The Wandering Brewer Project, in which pub operator Charles Wells is making beer again for the first time since it sold its operation to Marston’s in May.

With the company not set to open its new brewery in Bedford until 2019, head brewer Ian Jones is collaborating with other brewers to create 22 new beers over the next two years.

The first two, made with Buckinghamshire’s XT Brewing, will be unveiled at Camra’s Bedford Beer Festival on 4th October, following which a new collaborative brew will hit the bars of Wells’ pubs each month.

Feedback is invited from licensees and drinkers to gain insight into contemporary tastes and help influence the range that will eventually come out of the new brewery.

“As a brewer, The Wandering Brewer Project is a dream come true for me,” said Jones. “I get to collaborate with some of the country’s most respected brewers and create some exciting beers.

“We’re looking at brewing many different styles over the next two years, some will be traditional, some will be a little left of mainstream, but all will be created with the passion and creativity that makes Britain’s brewers admired the world over.”

Charles Wells sold its Bedford brewery and brands to Marston’s for £55million but held onto a growing estate of some 200 tenanted and managed pubs in England and France.

It also retained the rights to a handful of brands brewed under its ‘Charlie Wells’ craft portfolio, namely Dry Hopped Lager. Triple Hopped IPA, Full and Oats and Charlie Wells Globe Hopper.

Meanwhile, Fuller’s has released further details of its Fuller’s and Friends collaboration project in which the London brewer is teaming up with craft brewers around the country to create six bottled beers exclusively for Waitrose supermarkets.

As well as the reimagination of its ESB with Moor Beer already reported, they will include a dry-hopped lager with Fourpure, a New Zealand saison with Marble, a red rye ale with Thornbridge, a New England IPA with Cloudwater and a smoked porter with Hardknott, all brewed on the Fuller’s plant in Chiswick.

Six members of the Fuller’s brewing team have each been partnered with a brewer and they have worked through the whole brewing process together, from coming up with the recipes to designing the artwork for the bottle labels and giving the beer a name.

The six-pack will be on shelves in time for Christmas.

Phil Mellows
28th September 2017

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