With three of their brews – Croupier, Jack of Clubs & Festive Indulgence – on the bar, there was plenty for locals to discuss with the beer, especially as the Xmas special included the addition of black treacle & nutmeg. “Cleaning the brewery after we’d brewed that was a nightmare. The treacle clings to everything, but the beer is brilliant, and that’s what counts,” recalled Technical Manager David Walls.
The 3-hour “Meet The Brewer” event was initially arranged as part of The Corner Flag’s beer festival held earlier in the month but had been rescheduled. However, there was still an excellent range of 6 cask ales available, and the brewers came prepared with examples of the grains, adjuncts and hops that go into their recipes.
Whilst the brewery may lay claim to being one of the smallest cask-producing breweries in the UK, with their equipment only giving 2 casks at a time, they still managed to produce a bi-monthly special during 2012. Keep The Cald Out was a whiskey bitter for the winter season, followed by Bitter Mein Hare for Easter. In the Summer, Double Down Brown Ale took local pubs by storm so much so that the brewery is soon to add the drink to their core range for 2013. Rye IPA Caesar’s was brewed in August before Dead Man’s Hand, the pumpkin red beer, was brewed for Hallowe’en.
Since their launch in Willington, County Durham, just over a year ago, the brewery has been doing 2 brews per week, giving a total of 4 casks. Because of this, they can scarcely keep up with demand, and their popular beers are selling out continually. Aside from what was on the bar, Pit Boss, an American Pale Ale, is also part of the core range. To keep up with demand, the team hopes to double production over the coming months, and be outputting 8 casks per week in the very near future.
Whilst growing the business only from the funds it generates, the team comprising Paul Armstrong (Head Brewer), Dave Walls (Technical Manager), Nikki Armstrong (Brewster), Gordon Byers (Commercial Manager) & Mitzi (the Gambling Dog) have found time to raise £500 for The Great North Air Ambulance, by delivering Durham Beer Festival‘s casks 7 miles on foot. In 2013, the brewery will be raising funds for St Oswald’s Hospice in Gosforth, as the charity provided excellent support for their good friend Bill Case.
If you missed Gambling Man Brewing Co in Sunderland, there’s another chance to meet them on Wednesday 23rd January in South Shields. Entry will be £15.00 per person, which includes 2 pints of Gambling Man’s beers, 4 halves of any other cask beer available, and a Burn’s Night Supper. Check our What’s On section for further details.