Husband is more than a bit partial to the odd beer or two. Son is more than a bit partial to machinery and finding out how things work. Neither of these particularly rock my boat but I tagged along with them on this trip which combined both their things and we ended up having an all round good afternoon at Robinsons Brewery in Stockport. A peek behind the scenes to find out how they brew and make beer was definitely more engaging than I was expecting.
We booked a couple of weeks in advance on their website to do the tour on a Sunday afternoon. They had various slots available, we picked what seemed to be the last one at 2.30 pm and I had in my head that it would probably be just us. Wrong. There were about 25 other people including other children, this was way more popular than I thought.
We parked on the road outside and had a little bit of time so decided to explore the area. The Robinsons brewery building is beautiful – red brick, Victorian with a prominent position on the Stockport skyline.
The Robinson family have been brewing beer here since 1838 and own over 300 pubs around the North West of England and Wales. They brew 3 million pints of beer every year and the whole thing is still a family concern. We learned all this and more in the brand new visitor area. Very swish inside, there is a fascinating display about the family, loads of information on the brewing process and some quirky souvenirs on sale. Son enjoyed the interactive things including the “build your own perfect pub.”
Our tour guide was excellent – very informative and interesting as well as thoroughly down to earth. He took us first across the road to meet the shire horses. Almost as famous as the brewery itself, these two beauties were chilled out and relaxed. They are two of the last brewery working Shire horses left in the country.
After that it was on to the tour proper. We made our way through the factory and heard all about the brewing process. Son was in his element. We saw their new machinery sitting side by side with the original brewing equipment.
A very interesting explanation about hops and malt with a tasting session – we got to try some, yeuch is all I can say.
A look in the fermenting room then the tour ended (where else) in the bar area with a chance to sample some of Robinsons finest cask ales. Again, definitely not to my taste but Husband was very happy. Drinking his and mine went down very well.