Great Oakley Brewery

From the Northampton Evening Telegraph:

Celebrations were in order when Great Oakley Brewery picked up the prize for the best beer in the Midlands.

It won the prize with its premium bitter called Gobble in the competition run by the Society of Independent Brewers.

It took the gold award for the overall champion in the contest, which forms part of Nottingham’s Robin Hood Beer Festival.

And the winning didn’t stop there.

Great Oakley Brewery also took the bronze award in the speciality beer section with its Oakley Blonde and bronze for the brewery’s Delapre Dark in the bottled porter, milds, old ales and stouts section.

The judges were faced with a daunting task with 244 cask and 68 bottled beers in the competition.

Brewery founder Phil Greenway said: “We were delighted to win.

“Gobble was also the joint bronze award winner in the best bitter category at the 2010 Great British Beer Festival.

“It’s been a big success.”

Mr Greenway founded Great Oakley Brewery in 2005 with Mike Evans who lives in the village, but he left the venture in 2008 to run a pub.

The brewery was created in unused stables in Great Oakley and now employs Mr Greenway, his wife Hazel, their son Tom and Guy Jenkins.

They brew eight ales on a regular basis, as well as speciality beers including SWALK for St Valentine’s Day, Fly The Flag for St George’s Day, Wobbly Santa for Christmas, Easter Bunny and Wot’s The Craic.

Mr Greenway, who is chairman of the Northamptonshire branch of the Campaign for Real Ale, said: “Brewing is like cooking.

“It’s all about following the recipe and attention to detail.

“My brother has a micro brewery in Staffordshire. I’ve always been around beer – it’s in my blood.”

The couple, who live in Northampton, are planning to move the brewery to Tiffield, near Towcester, in the new year but they have pledged to keep the Great Oakley name.

Mr Greenway said: “We have a 40-minute journey to work every day and back again at night so its quite a journey and we decided to move nearer home.”

The competition was sponsored by Russell Scanlan, one of the UK’s leading independent insurance broking and risk managing firms which has been in Nottingham for 100 years and supports micro breweries.”

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