Three old bottles found in Stoney Ford Brew Company’s quest

Stoney Ford's Simon Watson with microbiologists Adam Divall and Emma Blackwell
Stoney Ford's Simon Watson with microbiologists Adam Divall and Emma Blackwell

A micro-brewery which appealed for old bottles of beer with the aim of reactivating yeast strains has had three bottles donated.

Stoney Ford Brew Company, which is based in Ryhall, appealed via the Mercury in January and the co-owners Tim Nicol and Simon Watson have been delighted with the response.

So far they had two old Melbourn’s IPA bottles with lids and contents intact, and one very old almost empty bottle of Lowe, Son and Cobbold A.K. Stamford Ale, which could be more than 100 years old.

Simon has delivered the three bottles to the laboratories of Murphy and Sons in Nottingham, which provides ingredients and testing services for the brewing industry.

Senior microbiologist Adam Divall will now examine the samples under a microscope to see if any live yeast cells survive which could be grown on in the laboratory. This will take at least a few weeks but if successful, it might be possible to generate enough yeast to try in a new brew at Stoney Ford.

Tim said: “The whole process may take a while and realistically the odds may be against us but we feel it’s important to try and resurrect anything we can from Stamford’s proud history of brewing.”

Stoney Ford has been supplying local pubs and hotels for a year and is keen to develop more beers based on the local brewing heritage - hence Tim and Simon’s quest for old bottles. The current ales are made from all-English ingredients with the malts from Lincolnshire and Norfolk and the hops from Kent and Hertfordshire.

Tim and Simon still hope to hear from Mercury readers who might have old bottles with their contents intact.

E-mail or call 01780 753747.