It has all the elements of something out of a Shakespearean play, with murmurs of disquiet and rebellion as the old guard faces a challenge from within...

It is even set in the right location for such an event, the Royal Borough of Windsor.

But, thankfully, this family altercation has less menacing overtones and is all done with the good intention of offering quality brews to discerning customers!

The Windsor & Eton Brewery has been established for almost five years now and its reputation for producing fine traditional ales has grown with it.

This is in no small part to the reputation of Head Brewer Paddy Johnson who with some 35 years in the industry has experienced much and brewed many a pint.

I remember Paddy telling me how one of his first encounters as a young trainee brewer at the imposing Courage Horsleydown Brewery by Tower Bridge in the late 1970's was to see barrels of the legendary Imperial Russian Stout  being rolled around the brewery yard to rouse the yeast back into action! 

A practice long since abandoned in the in industry, but shows the craft attention the beer received back then.

All this however cuts little ice with a group of young men at  Windsor & Eton who having learnt the trade over the last couple of years feel they have something new to offer.

Ironically for Paddy this mutinous band is led by no other than his son Kieran, who has obviously inherited his fathers passion of brewing - but wants to strike out in a new direction.

So as to make their intentions clear they have established a new company which goes by the name of Uprising - and the logo of the crown being lifted from the head of ( guise who...) leaves no ambiguity as to their motives. 

Magnanimously for the time being Uprising are operating out of the Eton & Windsor site but will be finding new premises in the new year. 



Clearly the vibrant American craft beer movement has had a big impact on the young team at uprising - fruit driven, highly aromatic and hoppy brews in the West Coast India Pale Ale style are the direction they feel their beers should be going.

Their first release, going by the damning title of Treason West Coast IPA will be available in 330ml bottles soon.

As with any new brewery starting out what will be important is to produce a product that maintains consistency, especially in bottle. Whilst a draught beer can often be a fleeting experience in a pub, as the turn around is so quick and another micro takes over the pump, a bottled product makes a different statement. It carries the name and acts as the flag bearer for a brewery.

In this respect to compete with the large number of micro bottled beers being brewed in London now a beer that underachieves will simply not cut it.

There is no substitute for experience and in this respect (putting competition aside!) Kieran has literally go an 'in house' advisor.

Mind you furtive looks across the breakfast table in the Johnson household must make interesting viewing - let the battle commence!


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