Having run all kinds of pubs in all kind of places over the last 15 years landlord Jon Coward has a familiarity and understanding of beer that borders on intimacy. Having experimented first with making cider (we won’t go into that) he moved on to his first attempts at producing beer at his pub in Hampshire – The Northbrook Arms.
Being somewhat technically minded (and business-minded – to put it politely) Jon decided that he would build his own brewery bit by bit and, as this came together he taught himself the basics of brewing.
Worth a mention here is Jon’s first brewing mentor and good friend Steve Haigh of Alfred’s Brewery, Winchester. His support and guidance in those early days was fundamental to the development of Jon’s brewing and was very much appreciated. Definitely worth seeking out if you ever find yourself in those parts.
Along came Pheasant – a 3.8% brown bitter that went down a treat with the regulars at the pub and began gaining attention from beyond the village…
Following a much desired move to the West Country and having ended up in the brew town of Wiveliscombe work began afresh to upgrade and upscale the now successful brewery under the Skittle Alley at our pub The Bear Inn.
Black Bear Brewery was born and Pheasant Ale, having been tweaked and perfected, became the local favourite ‘Black Bear Ale’.
Having now worked closely with many successful breweries around the country Jon has developed a unique brewing style by taking some of the best techniques and practices from within the industry. With the continued growth and development of Black Bear Brewery you can expect to see a new landmark brand hit the South West very soon.
With an ever increasing range to include the anticipated Goldihops and the much sought after Strong One, Black Bear Brewery is going from strength to strength and ever expanding. More Bear related products are in the pipeline for the Summer of 2016 with much bottling and kegging going on. Watch this space for updates and do come along and have a try of the Black Bear collection.