The Wellington Arms in Marlborough High Street and The Barge at Honeystreet, which re-opened this weekend, are the latest pubs in the area to offer a full range of products from our nearest brewery and distillery at Ramsbury.
Seven core beers, gin, vodka and a damson liqueur are produced at the Ramsbury Brewery and Distillery, which sits on 19,600 acres of chalk downland on the vast Ramsbury Estate. They have been brewing beer in this idyllic setting since 2004 and distilling gin and vodka since 2015.
Ramsbury Gin and Vodka has won several international awards including the San Francisco double gold medal and California Newport Beach double gold medal for flavour and packaging. The Bell in Ramsbury, the Estate’s pub, won Pub of the Year 2018.
Ramsbury’s aim is to be as sustainable as possible. Wheat and barley are grown on the Estate and the spent grains used in the beer are used as animal feed. Estate water used in the brewing and distilling is funnelled back to the pond through reed beds which provide natural filtration.
Fred Hope, Business Development Manager, told marlborough.news, “We are very conscious that we can almost boast we are a closed loop. Anything we can do to be sustainable we do.”
“Heat is provided from burning wood from the estate and more trees are planted than chopped down. Ash from the biomass boiler is used as fertiliser on the fields. We press our own rape seed oil and the pellet waste is given to the pigs.”
The Estate also has its own butchery and smokehouse. Charcuterie products are on sale in the Estate shop.
A million pints of beer are produced each year and three gin distillations a day produce four hundred bottles per day. However, the process of brewing and distilling is slow and careful.
After the wheat is harvested and milled into rough flour it is placed into enormous mash tuns where warm water is added. After the yeast is added it is left for three to five days to ferment.
There are several more processes to be gone through before the beer is ready for the cask or the bottle. Each beer has a different production recipe.
In the distillery, the process, using the top quality German distilling equipment, is even slower. Fred Hope explained, “What makes us unusual is that we make our own neutral grain spirit. It’s not the quickest, easiest or cheapest but it would be remiss of us not to do it this way.
“It’s a thrill working here. We are able to do almost everything for ourselves and sustainably.”
Tours of the brewery and distillery lasting one and half hours and including tastings are available. The shop is open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm and 9 am to 1 pm on a Saturday.
For more information go to: https://www.ramsburyestates.co.uk