A duo of beer-mad brewers have opened up a craft brewery in Feltham.
Francis Smedley of Putney who has never looked back since he made his first brew while studying Natural Sciences at Cambridge University, has teamed up with Grant Walker of Feltham who has his very own YouTube beer review channel.
They make quite the pair and have found their dream home to brew under the banner of Reunion Ales at industrial estate Vector Park in Feltham which they moved into in October last year, ready for their first brew in December.
The only other local brewery in the borough of Hounslow is the famous Fuller's brewery which this year marks it 170th anniversary.
Family man Mr Smedley who lives with his wife and two sons founded Reunion Ales during the summer of 2015 and on deciding to go commercial began looking for a home to brew.
Mr Smedley who admits his bedtime reading is hop and fermentation research, said: “I wanted to site it in a part of west London where the locals appreciate a good pint and, ideally, one which was lacking a craft brewery.
"Step forward Feltham, which ticks both of these boxes.
“Last year was very exciting for Reunion Ales. They spent the summer months brewing at home every week to finalise the launch recipes.
“In parallel, they searched for premises and undertook masses of research and planning to map out what needed to be done to brew on a commercial scale.”
He is joined in his endeavours by assistant brewer and Isleworth -born Mr Walker who shares his passion for the art and science of brewing.
The father-of-two girls brings with him a wealth of home brewing knowledge and recipe development experience.
He said: “I’m really excited to be joining Reunion Ales. For years I’ve been building my experience of brewing and my knowledge of both the brewing process and the diversity of global beer styles.
“Joining Reunion is my opportunity to put this knowledge to work in a commercial setting – to see my recipes adapted and scaled up. I’m most looking forward to seeing beers I have helped to create being enjoyed by the locals in my home town Feltham.”
The brewery comes at a time when punters are mourning a number of 'lost pubs' in Hounslow .
Currently they ‘cook’ three beers; Opening Gambit, Frost Fair and Incredible Pale Ale.
They brewed for the first time before Christmas 2015 – putting both Opening Gambit (ABV 3.8% session ale) and Frost Fair (ABV 4.5% winter warmer) down to ferment, using their own yeast which they propagate from brew to brew, with the first sales made in January 2016.
All the ingredients used to brew the beers are English in origin.
More recently they added Incredible Pale Ale (ABV 5.0% highly hopped pale) to the range.
Each brew create 2,800 pints. It takes a day to do the “cooking” part of the brew. The product of that day is then fermented for up to seven days before it is cold conditioned for a few days.
They use a Moeschle 10-barrel set-up with four 10-barrel fermenters coupled with vintage Porter Lancastrian conditioning tanks, and a large Fulton gas fired steam boiler to generate high pressure steam which heats the vessels used in the brewing process.
Both men believe this form of heating is more versatile than the electrical heating elements more commonly used.
The duo have plenty of ideas brewing for the year ahead so keep an eye out in your local pub.
Reunion Ales does not yet run tours but if you are interested in visiting call Francis on 07818 014 430 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Beers - here’s what it is says on the bottle labels
Opening Gambit - a fully rounded and well balanced session ale. Its hoppy nose is followed by a smooth, malty, big mouth feel which plays very nicely alongside the hop aromatics. All this before the hop-derived bitterness brings the organoleptic journey to a gratifyingly dry conclusion.
Frost Fair- an interplay between the rich, malty texture and the subtle hint of oats serves as an impressive stage for an opera of hop flavours and aromas. You’ll get berries, pine, floral and spicy notes. In appearance Frost Fair is as dark as the nights it should be enjoyed upon.
Incredible Pale Ale - from foundations of malted barley and wheat is built a towering structure of flavour, balm and aroma - bound to raise the spirits of even the most dolorous individual. The nose is at once resinous and fruity, the body light and appealing; the conclusion a cue for more.