Bristol Beer Factory started life in 2004 brewing just a few standard cask conditioned ales in a vibrant part of south Bristol. We soon realised that there is so much more to brewing and so many more styles of beer that we want to try that our range has now developed into over 8 different regular bottled ales, 7 regular cask ales and up to 5 specials throughout the year. We are not afraid to try anything and the company has a firm belief that all the great ideas are already within the 4 walls of the brewery – it’s just a matter of extracting them out of the team within. Or you can just nick them from others – we're not afraid to admit that either!
So it really is all about the beer. We love what we do, we love to drink it and we love to experiment. We are proud to be part of the current 'Craft beer revolution' and will do our utmost to persuade, convince and just simply tell everyone we meet what they should be drinking.
A BIT OF HISTORY
The building we have all our fun in is actually an old fermenting block which was built in 1904 for the Ashton Gate Brewery. The Ashton Gate Brewery (or Thomas Bayntons Brewery) started brewing here back around 1820's - though there was a break for about 70 years between 1933 & 2004.
Originally started by Thomas Baynton and two of his brothers sometime in the early 1820's, the earliest evidence is a map in 1840 which shows a brewery on the site. Another of his brothers, George Baynton, ran a maltings just up the road from the brewery.
The Ashton Gate Brewery Company Ltd was registered on 16th October 1865 and took over the late Thomas Baynton's brewery for a sum of £30,000. The company immediately invested some more capital and a project to carry out the following was put out to tender:
- Build new stables
- Build new cellar block
- Complete construction of tower & chimney
- Remove present copper & install a new one 18” higher than existing.
The tender was submitted on 9th May 1866 and civil works was carried out by George Bennett of Staple Hill for a sum of £1810.
In 1868 the company changed its name to 'Hardwick & Co' (reason unknown - probably because most of the directors were from the Hardwick family). The name was changed back to 'The Ashton Gate Brewery Co Ltd' in 1883.
Further expansion was undertaken by George Adlams & Sons in 1894 (director - Richard Stratton & secretary - HR Harvey) and again in 1903 with a new fermentation block/racking area and a second copper. The racking area on the ground floor of the new fermentation block is now the location of the Bristol Beer Factory. The offices were further expanded in 1908 (secretary - J Harris).
The Ashton Gate Brewery produced the following products:
- Home Brewed
- Pale Ale
- Ashton Gate
- IPA (India Pale Ale)
- IIS (?)
- Milk Stout
With the strapline 'The Sunrise Brand - Outshines them all'
In 1931 the Ashton Gate Brewery Co Ltd was taken over by Georges & Co. They kept Milk Stout on with the exact same label (only changing the name to George's Brewery) which then went on to win a number of awards. Despite this the brewery was wound up in 1933 with all assets - pubs etc handed over to Georges & Co.
No longer a brewery, the building housed the Regent Tyre & Rubbers Co during the 1950's and subsequently Rapid Printing in the 1990's.
In 2004, the Bristol Brewing Co Ltd moved in & set up a 10 barrel micro brewery called the BRISTOL BEER FACTORY in the basement of the fermenting block that was originally built 100 years earlier in 1904.
All our BBF beer is brewed in house on our 30 brewers barrel kit (1 brewers barrel = 36 gallons), installed in 2013 having grown out of our original kit.
The kit consists of hot & cold liquor tanks, a mash tun (infusion mash) and a kettle/whirlpool.
We also have ten fermenting vessels - a mixture of open top and conical vessels which allow us to brew a large variety of beer styles in the best way we know how.
Our house yeast is propagated every three months to maintain a healthy strain for us to crop and re-use again and again.
We keg and rack all our beer ourselves here in Southville in the heart of Bristol. Our bottle conditioned beers are also bottled on site on our 1000 bottle/hour bottling line, they are then warm conditioned making sure they are in perfect condition before they are sent out to our customers.
To find out more & see the brewery for yourself, give us a call & book yourself onto a brewery tour!