About the Brewery
It had always been an ambition of Tom Minshull to start a brewery, having been involved a while back with Burt's Brewery due to its links with his company, Island Ales. Tom was only prepared to start this venture when the time was right and only if it was done properly and with attention to detail and above all, to be able to produce a first class product.
When Chris Coleman agreed to come on board as the brewer, the ability to produce a first class product was in place. Chris brings a wealth of experience, expertise and respect, which has been gained over many years as a brewer of some distinction.
People that know Chris, know that he is meticulous in the way he produces his products and combining this with the best equipment, we aim to produce top class ales. Chris is now ably assisted by his son Ashley who is now the Assistant Brewer.
Tom and the two other directors of the family business that is Island Ales, his son Steve Minshull and son-in-law Chris Mousley, have invested in this venture and the bespoke manufacture of brewery equipment.
Following extensive research and site visits to mainland breweries by Steve Minshull and Chris Coleman it was decided not to use second hand equipment but to use a company called Johnson Engineering, a company specialising in brewery manufacture based in Bolton, Lancashire, to make for us a brewery to our specifications.
The reasons for going to the additional expense of brand new equipment was to ensure the production of consistently high quality ales and because of the fact that we were so impressed with the quality and workmanship that Vincent Johnson and his team from Johnson Engineering had put into the design and manufacture of the breweries visited, a fact that I am sure that you will agree with if you should visit our brewery.
The investment continued, rather than buying second hand casks, it was decided to purchase brand new casks colour coded with our registered colour banding of blue, white and yellow, unmistakable as casks from the Isle of Wight Brewery and made to deliver a top class product in to the best pubs, clubs and outlets on the Island and beyond. Three of the cask ales, Wight Gold, Yachtsman’s Ale and Wight Knight are also available in bottles and a great gift pack.
These are exciting times, as now the Isle of Wight Brewery compliments Island Ales' business in that along with the most complete drinks distribution service available to the Island, we now have a range of top quality real ales. Combined with the distribution and wholesale expertise of the Island's leading drinks distributor, we can continue to offer a service which is truly 'second to none'.
The distribution of the new ales from the Isle of Wight Brewery was initially only to outlets on the Isle of Wight, but word soon spread of our excellent ales, we now distribute all along the South Coast from Poole in the West to Bognor in the East. Island Ales have for a long time offered the largest and most comprehensive range of real ales, albeit other brewers' ales and we will continue to do so.
This is due to their many links to breweries, big and small and of course their coveted membership of the exclusive Today's Group - a group of independent, mainly family owned and run businesses that are spread out right across the UK. Being part of the Today's Group has allowed Island Ales to offer national brands and products, not just real ales but almost any product you desire and to be supported by the brand owners to distribute those brands direct to outlets on the Island on a same day delivery service, delivering the products and stock that you need when you need them.
Membership of Today's Group was complimented in 2008 by being invited to join 'The Society of Vintners', a similar organisation to that of the Today's Group but based solely in wines. Membership of the Society of Vintners has enabled Island Ales to source and supply an exclusive range of top quality wines from around the world. The wines on offer are chosen by the Society members and then imported directly into our bonded warehouse facility to be offered exclusively through the members' own wholesale companies. This ensures first rate, exclusive wines from a range that is continually expanding.
The Isle of Wight Brewery has membership of CAMRA - the Campaign for Real Ales, SIBA - the Society of Independent Brewers and we work closely with these excellent organisations. We also welcome feedback, good or bad, and the thoughts of customers when they have tasted our ales. The Isle of Wight Brewery is very keen to give the real ale drinker exactly what it wants - a tasty, top quality real ale, brewed expertly with the best ingredients at a first rate brewery.
After investing in the new brewery Island Ales and the Isle of Wight Brewery, being an Island company employing Island people and supplying Island businesses is also keen to put something back into the Island and the Island's community. We are forging links with Island based charities and organisations, an example of this is that 10p is donated to the Earl Mountbatten Hospice for every single pint sold of Earls R.D.A.
As part of our commitment to the Isle of Wight and its people, we always endeavour wherever possible to use Island businesses and as such the design of the Island Brewery logo was thanks to Paul at Island Signs, whose company have provided the sign writing to our delivery vans for as long as we can remember. The design of the pump clips that will adorn many bars and our delivery vans was down to the skills of a very talented young graphic designer, Steve Woodford. Steve designed all of the pump clips for our core range of ales. Each has a link or an image connected to the Isle of Wight. We thank Steve for his designs and wish him every success in his career. Please take a look at our pump clips when tasting our ales. I am sure that you will agree Steve has a great talent.