Published in The Herts Advertiser 8 June 2017
The 3 Brewers of St Albans is quite a young brewery, but it has already made a real impact locally. I am sure you have seen and tried the beers at our various pubs, restaurants and festivals; it is hard to believe that the company is still only five years old. I was delighted to hear of their latest success; their Special English Ale has just won Gold in the CAMRA East Anglian regional finals, beating beers from over 80 breweries. I went to meet the team at their barn brewery in Symonds Hyde, in the woodland beyond the Osprey Shop.
The 3 Brewers are co-founders Mark Fanner and Pete Zivkovic and head brewer Matt Sutton. Mark and Pete came up with the idea for The 3 Brewers in the Garibaldi, and they moved to the Symonds Hyde Farm barn in August 2012. The business is now a 7 days a week job, as the trio do all the brewing, deliveries and festivals.
The team are delighted, and surprised at their win, as they were up against some big names. The award was presented to the team a couple of weeks ago by the local CAMRA group at the Lower Red Lion. The Special English Ale now goes through to the Champion Beer of Great Britain final at the end of the summer, so the decision will be made in time for the Alban Arena beer festival. In the meantime, if you want to try it, it is being sold in lots of local pubs and is for sale at the brewery too.
The trio have a very busy summer coming up first; they will be selling selections of their seven beers including a new summery option Blonde Ale at local events, including the Folk Festival in St Michaels, the St Albans Street Festival and the St Albans Food & Drink Festival. Mark told me that they plan to do a special beer for the local events, so look out for that. They are also hosting an open day at the brewery on September 9th, and they plan live music, a barbecue and plenty of beer tasting. I tried the Blonde and it was delicious, with a good grapefruit flavour that will go well with barbecues and, I think, fish and chips.
The brewery is on a lovely farm location and as we sat outside on the grass, Mark explained that all the water they use for the beer comes from a borehole on the land, which is 100ft deep, and which helps to give the beer its distinctive flavour. The waste grains go to Sandridgebury Farm nearby, and the waste hops are used on the compost heap at Symonds Hyde farm.
The 3 Brewers beers are available in many pubs in the local area, including the nearby Plough at Sleapshyde, The Six Bells in St Albans and The Beech House, to name just three. They are also sold at The Odyssey cinema, The Alban Arena, Carpenters farm shop, The Lovely Little Wine Shop and the Beer Shop.
It is great to hear that The 3 Brewers sell to so many restaurants too, including 4 Nations, Prime and many others; until very recently beer was an afterthought in restaurants. If you want to buy beer direct from the brewery, and this is very popular for parties and weddings, you can visit Mon-Fri 8–4; head brewer Matt is usually there, even if Mark and Pete are out doing deliveries. As well as draft in pubs, the bestselling Classic, Golden and IPAs are available in bottles, and Classic, Golden and Special English Ales are available in 5 litre mini kegs. For large parties they also do 36 pint and 72 pint casks.
The 3 Brewers, Symonds Hyde Farm, Symonds Hyde Lane, AL10 9BB