THE MILLSTONE STORY - 17 YEARS & STILL ROLLING
The Millstone Brewery restores a traditional craft to the town of Mossley, situated where the counties of Cheshire, Lancashire and Yorkshire meet. Vale Mill, originally part of Mossley’s cotton heritage, provides an appropriate home for the eight-barrel plant that was installed in September 2003. Brewing commenced in early October.
The initial idea of establishing a commercial brewery grew from discussions several years earlier whilst Jon and Nick were on holiday in France. Both were keen to utilise their complementary skills and experience to build up their own business venture. A couple of years of planning combined with many long discussions with existing brewers followed; hands-on brewing experience was also gained during this time.
In January 2003, David Porter of the Porter Brewing Company Limited (PBC Brewery Installations) was commissioned to supply and install the brewing equipment into Vale Mill - the home of Millstone Brewery.
That summer, Nick and Jon left their respective employment to concentrate fully on the brewery. Initial work focused on establishing the infrastructure of their unit in Vale Mill (Mossley) in order to accommodate a brewery. Nick and Jon undertook the majority of the work whilst local contractors carried out specialist tasks.
Late September to early October saw the installation of the brewing equipment. A brewery of eight-barrel capacity, along with two fermenters, provided a potential capacity of up to 16 barrels per week and plenty of scope to accommodate future expansion.
The release of Millstone’s first beer, Three Shires Bitter, in late October was favourably received and set the standards for future beers.
Today Millstone is still producing popular beers that are being enjoyed not only locally but nationwide through our trusted distributors. Having brewed numerous beers over the years, we've narrowed our beers down to a strong core range of three regulars, including a stout, and three occasional. This doesn't mean that we're not working on or developing new beers so keep your eyes peeled.
MEET THE Team
Nick Boughton and Jon Hunt - the owners/brewers of Mossley’s first real-ale brewery since 1914. Although both from the West Midands, Nick and Jon decided to establish their business in the North-West. Nick had moved to Grasscroft (Saddleworth) in 1997 to take up a lecturing post at the University of Liverpool. Jon, formerly an engineering quality manager in Oldbury, moved North when the dream of a brewery became a reality in 2003.
2019 saw the Millstone team grow from two to three when Tom Braithwaite, a local of the Saddleworth area, joined. As well as sharing the regular workload, Tom has been developing new beers and supporting the business as it moves into the areas of kegging and canning. Like Jon & Nick, Tom has a passion for great beer and has a keen eye for quality and maintaining what Millstone means to so many of its customers who enjoy drinking and serving our beers: consistency and quality.
Originally hailing from Birmingham Jon has a background in Engineering and eating curries. He cut his real ale teeth on a combination of Bathams Bitter and Highgate Mild. If he’s not sat at his Kitchen table trying to put one of his antique clocks back together he can be found outside polishing his classic BMW or thinking about curry. He loves citrus style hoppy beers which he says are the perfect combination to go with a curry.
A local of the Saddleworth area. Tom has a background in construction and international downhill mountain bike racing. Still a keen mountain biker and music lover, you are likely to find Tom riding on the hills above Saddleworth or enjoying a gig somewhere. "If I had to choose a beer, I'd likely choose a hoppy uncomplicated session Pale Ale."
One of the original founding members of the brewery, Nick grew up in the Black Country, renowned for its industrial heritage. Following roles in teaching and industry he finally swapped an academic career for one in brewing. Now officially retired from Millstone, or moved into "Phase Three" as he prefers to term it, Nick can be found at home baking bread or enjoying the outdoors on two legs, two wheels or two cross country skis. Full bodied, pale bitters ... it’s the future!
Awards & SCRAPBOOK
Over the years we've felt honoured to have received multiple awards and positive media coverage. Here are some of our favourite moments.
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