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Wylde times for Cambridgeshire brewery

A fledgling craft brewery in Linton has made it into the Good Beer Guide 2020 as the region makes the most of an industry renaissance.

Wylde Sky brewery has just celebrated its first year after being originally set-up by former London banker Paul Elilio and business partner Paulo Figurelli.

Paul Elilio at Wilde Sky brewery, Linton. Picture: Keith Heppell. (16965620)
Paul Elilio at Wilde Sky brewery, Linton. Picture: Keith Heppell. (16965620)

Although Paulo has since left the business, Paul has drafted in Chris Heath, who specialises in hospitality, to help develop the brewery into one of the fastest growing in the region. With the help of a tap room, open mic nights and an array of different foods, the brewery has gone from strength to strength to leave Paul looking at the prospect of a major expansion plan.

He said that keeping up with demand has been difficult with just two fermentation tanks. The limits imposed means it takes 21 days to brew a product and so Paul now wants to buy another two tanks at a cost of £10,000 to increase volume.

He said: “At the moment we are not able to brew fast enough and the next step is getting more fermentation vessels which will allow us to increase our capacity. We would like another two and these would cost £10,000 for the pair. I think crowdfunding is possibly the next step for us. I am confident we would get the support.

“The tap room has been our main lifesaver. Five of our beers are on tap and we have one guest cider. We also have food trucks that come along every Friday and Saturday and an open mic night on the last Friday of every month. A lot of people have never been to a tap room before and don’t know what to expect. So we have created a unique environment on an industrial estate. It may not be the most salubrious of surroundings but people still seek us out.”

The brewing scene in East Anglia is booming, with 11 new breweries situated in the region, according to the Good Beer Guide, which features the Campiagn for Real Ale’s (Camra) choice of where to find a great pint in the UK.

Tom Stainer, Camra’s chief executive, said: “The Good Beer Guide has always had an important role in acting as a barometer of the beer and pub industry. We believe information gleaned from the guide is absolutely vital in the drive to save our pubs from closure and campaign for policies that better support pubs, local brewers and their customers.”

The Cambridge and District branch of Camraentered 26 pubs from the area – both city and rural venues – into this year’s guide, along with some local breweries.

One of the pubs included in the guide is the branch’s pub of the year, the Chestnut Tree in West Wratting, which has been in every edition of the book since 2014.

The Good Beer Guide 2020 was published last week and is available to order at shop.camra.org.uk.

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