And the oldest brewery still operating in County Durham will mark the occasion with the launch of a new ale, the appropriately named 1994.
“It should be great,” said the brewery’s sales and marketing manager Elly Bell. “The whole cold store is full of beer, and we’ll have some of our new 10% pale beer 1994 in limited edition 750ml bottles, with artwork by Andy Mogg.”
The history of Durham Brewery
Founded by teachers Steve and Christine Gibbs in August 1994, the firm on the Bowburn Industrial Estate, just outside Durham City, took the Durham Camra Beer Festival by storm with its first beer, Celtic, named beer of the festival.
“The White Range” soon followed, with light hoppy beers, using pale malt base, establishing the company in the affections of drinkers.
In 1999 the brewery sold its original five barrel plant, moved into a new industrial unit opposite, and bought a new 10 barrel plant – the same sized brewery it still has today.
In 2005 it saw awards success after Steve created Evensong – his take on an old Whitakers Old Tom recipe – which took gold in Camra’s Great British Beer Festival Real Ale in a Bottle competition.
Today the family owned brewery has grown to fill four industrial units, employ six people, and ship its beer around the world – most recently to Taiwan – and offers a core range of 11 cask beers, as well as numerous bottles.
Photos of Durham Brewery
Durham Brewery’s 1994 beer
A 10.2% ABV “mega pale hoppy full bodied whopper of a beer, with a spicy kick of pink peppercorns on the finish” Durham Brewery’s 1994 beer again shows Steve’s irreverence to beer styles.
Following on from the brewery’s White Stout – a reaction to the trend for other breweries making Black India Pale Ales – the latest beer is something of a joke at the expense of adding the word “imperial” to strong IPAs.
Made using “masses and masses” of Columbus hops, the beer looks set to be one that will develop and mature over time – with early tastings revealing slight notes of cognac, and a pepper flavour that will hopefully mellow in time.
Durham Brewery’s 20th anniversary party – What you need to know
The party – which does not require a ticket – runs from midday to 5pm on Saturday August 2 at Unit 6A of Bowburn North Ind Estate (DH6 5PF for your sat navs)
Taxis from Durham station cost in the region of £13.50 if hailed on arrival.
Visitors will be given their first pin of a 5% or under beer for free, plus 10% discount in the brewery shop, while barbecue food will be available from Trimdon’s Dropswell Farm Shop.