Arkell’s Brewery has installed two new fermenters, bringing the total investment into new equipment at the Swindon-based brewery to around £1/2 million over the last five years.
And in honour of the country’s most famous couple the fermenters have been named ‘William’ and ‘Catherine’ by brew-house staff.
The new equipment, which cost £55,000 to install, replaces a large open copper fermenter from the 1930s. Head brewer, Don Bracher, said: “We decided to replace the old equipment earlier this year and as the Royal Wedding was the only topic of conversation at the time, the names stuck.
“More seriously, it’s a good investment for us because we can now respond more quickly to the increasing demand for more seasonal and occasional real ales.
Earlier this year Arkell’s produced Blue Sapphire for the Royal Wedding as well as Hurricane Ale, for the International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford and Royal Bassett Ale, celebrating Wootton Bassett’s unique contribution to honouring the British Armed Forces.
Real ale is produced by ‘top fermenting yeast’ at temperatures up to 22°C which produces the rich variety of flavours in an ale. It is this primary fermentation that takes place in the new equipment at Arkell’s. After primary fermentation the ale is allowed to mature at 11-13°C in a cask where a slow secondary fermentation occurs.
“The most important outcome for a traditional brewery, such as Arkell’s, is to consistently produce top quality real ale,” said Alex Arkell, who is working alongside Don. “And that takes continued investment in equipment.”