A beer-loving dad from Hay-on-Wye has opened the town’s first brewery in almost a century.
Luke Manifold said Lucky 7 Beer Co. was the ‘realisation of a dream’ which began with home brewing in his kitchen six years ago. Now he’s able to produce around 1800 pints a week, supplying local businesses in Hay and pubs in the Welsh capital.
Said Luke, 39: ‘The reception to our first beers has been fantastic. We have loads of exciting ideas and we’re looking forward to the challenges ahead.’
Luke’s beer quest began after tasting a friend’s home brew.
He explained: ‘He’d used some imported hops from New Zealand and I was just blown away by the flavours. ‘It opened my eyes to what was possible with beer – I was hooked on those taste experiences and the whole culture of brewing. ‘From that moment, I had to try and make for myself what I was tasting.’
Lucky 7 Beer Co makes modern, small-batch beers, capitalising on the current interest in microbreweries and inspired by bold-flavoured, American craft ales. It is one of 20 new Welsh breweries to appear in the 2017 edition of Camra’s Good Beer Guide. And this summer Lucky 7 represented Hay in Cardiff at the ‘Brewfest’ beer festival, organised by Newport-based craft brewery Tiny Rebel.
It is thought the last brewery in Hay – based at the Swan Hotel in Church Street – ceased production in the late 1930s. Brewing was also taking place at what is now the Red Indigo restaurant on Castle Street around the turn of the last century. Said Luke: ‘Hopefully we can build on our promising start and put Hay back on the Welsh beer map.’
*Lucky 7 will be showcasing four new beers at a ‘Tap Take Over’ event at Beer Revolution, Market Street, Hay on Saturday October 28th from 3pm.
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