The vote for the Hitchin Beer of the Festival went to Windsor and Eton Brewery for ‘Treetops’ a dark Stout. If you’re wondering, it is one of a series of three beers brewed for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year, the Queen heard of her father’s death at the Kenyan safari resort of Treetops.
We were taken on a guided tour of the brewery by Will, one of the founding partners, and given a brief history of the brewery. It was set up in 2010 by two ex-brewery workers who had originally thought of starting up in Manchester but decided there were already enough breweries there. After discovering that there had been no brewery in Windsor since 1931 they decided it was a good place to be and on deciding that the name would be ‘Windsor and Eton’ felt it should be sited in the town. It is situated on ‘the other side of the tracks’ from the castle, in a modern, functional building between Victorian terraced houses and Brunel’s railway arches, a short walk from the station.
The brewery took over the premises on St David’s day 2010 and opened for business on St George’s day with their first beer ‘Guardsman’, all their beers have a royal theme, the current Jubilee Ale being named ‘Kohinoor’ a classical IPA, after the large diamond in the coronation crown. There are currently four partners and the brewery produces a number of cask ales (we tasted a few), as well as bottled beers. Their ambition is to be the best craft brewery in Britain!
The presentation was made by Brian Mason, chairman of North Herts CAMRA, with him were a number of Beer Festival workers and we were joined by a couple from Lincoln, Kelly and Sean, who had seen the event listed on or web site and Steven and Alasdair originally from Ayrshire but staying in Windsor.
The trip concluded with a tour around the pubs in the area serving Windsor and Eton beers.