As the wind swirled and the rain danced with the tumbleweed on White Lund, your faithful newshound braved the elements in search of a gathering of a secretive sect performing strange and magical rituals. My guide and taxi driver seemed reluctant to get too close to the only lit building on the industrial estate, leaving me to brave the elements for the last hundred yards as the vehicle screeched away, the driver crossing himself and muttering prayers.
Finally the door opened and the dark and cold were replaced by light and warmth of the MBW lobby. I could hear the mumble of my quarry behind another door and cautiously entered the room. The incense of new paint mingled with hops and barley to give an intoxicating effect. Yes, I was here in the heart of the coven, in Cross Bay Brewery’s very recently opened visitors centre. The Head Witch, Nick Turner, and two of his familiars were dispensing the magic potions to their followers. The regulars, Nightfall, Dusk, Halo, Sunset and the prize winning Zenith were joined by the seasonal Aurora. All the beers were on tip top form and by the time that the High Wizard led his flock into the temple that held the brewery, their magical effects were becoming apparent.
During the tour of the inner sanctum Nick cast his spell on the flock muttering magical words about grist mills and FVs, mash tuns and coppers. Whilst keeping the forbidden secrets of his potions, he gave hints to the entranced gathering of disciples of what the ingredients of his concoctions do to give the elixirs their final taste.
After the exploration and explanation more spells were cast and the once empty table in the visitors centre brimmed with all manner of tasty treats to compliment the liquid ambrosias dispensed from the casks.
Many thanks to Nick, his brewing team and the MBW staff for a wonderful evening.
When’s the next one Nick?George Palmer