Monmouthshire Food Festival’s closest producer is Castles Brewery, who brew their real ale just a mile and a half away from Caldicot Castle’s drawbridge.
Castles Brewery is a traditional real ale micro-brewery, situated on the Severn Bridge Industrial Estate in Portskewett, just a mile and a half from Caldicot Castle. It was established in October of 2013 by the Micic Family, Mike and Carolyn and their two sons, Matthew and Nathan.
Mike Micic had been a keen home-brewer for almost 30 years and is passionate about making quality ales. When an opportunity arose to start their own micro-brewery, the Micic family were able to embark on the new venture making and selling real ales from an empty industrial unit.
Initially, brewing took place on evenings and weekends, with all members of the family chipping in. With the reputation building and new pubs trying Castles ales, it reached a point in December 2014 where juggling work at their engineering firm, Advanced Maintenance Solutions, and brewing at Castles became unmanageable.
Nathan left his career in law and joined Castles Brewery full-time at the start of December 2014, with Mike teaching him how to brew and operate the brewhouse. With production increasing, the plan was for Nathan to take over production and also help Carolyn with the accounts.
2015 saw the start of Castles wholesaling their beer around the UK. With demand high, Mike was able to use his automation knowledge to enable the Brewhouse to be more efficient, with multiple brews being done daily. In July that year, a new 7 brewers barrel Brewhouse was purchased to allow production to be increased without the need to brew multiple times during a brew day.
In December 2015, a new entity called Monmouthshire Inns was started by the Micic family with the aim of taking on pubs. A fifteen year lease was taken out on the Kings Head in Chepstow, where hand-pumps were installed for the first time in almost seven years. This provided a direct outlet for Castles ales as well as creating a multi-functional hub in the centre of Chepstow town.
Castles Brewery continues to grow in reputation, with the main focus being on quality, ensuring that the drinker is always satisfied.
For more information visit www.monmouthshirefoodfestival.co.uk