ALES OF SCILLY OWNER KEEN TO TRAIN LOCAL IN BREWING
Ales of Scilly owner Mark Praeger has said that he would like to train an islander in the "ancient art of brewing".
Mark has decided to retire and do something "less physically demanding" after 16 years building the popular and successful company.
He said: "I have loved being the island brewer over the years and have met thousands of interesting people from all over the world. Some have even travelled to Scilly for the first time just to visit the brewery.
"I have been visited by coach parties on brewery tours of the West Country, a group of enthusiastic drinkers from Germany, an extended family of lottery winners from Birmingham, film crews, several TV crews, any number of journalists including one from Japan, hundreds of home brewers wanting to look around and thousands of happy visitors. I have even provided lunch time drinks for members of the royal family.
"My ales have been to beer festivals all over Cornwall and have travelled as far afield as Scotland and the Great British Beer Festival at Olympia and lots of places in between.
"I am often told by the Cornish festival organisers that my beer is the first to sell out. It could be because of its rarity value but I would like to think that it is also because the beer is very good."
Mark said that he had been a home brewer from as young as 13, but had no idea how to run a business when he started. He ended up paying a master brewer to visit the islands and spend a long weekend training him. However, he admitted that it takes years to learn how to do it "well and consistently".
"At the very beginning, when the brewery was at Trenoweth I threw away hundreds of gallons of beer which I was not happy with. Since then I have occasionally ended up with a beer which was not how I had planned it and would have to come up with a different name."
On the future of the company, Mark explained that he does not wish to lose touch with Ales of Scilly so will be not be selling up just yet. But he has much more in mind than just employing someone to run it.
"I don't want the brewery just to fizzle out so decided that it would be a good opportunity for someone local, who doesn't necessarily have any capital, to rent a going concern. I will freely offer any training and support necessary to keep this great little island business going.
"I want to give them the responsibility and hopefully the rewards of running their own business. I hope by now I have made most of the possible mistakes and can pass on my experience to whoever decides to take it on."
Ales of Scilly, the most south westerly brewery in the UK, has introduced popular beers including Maiden Voyage, Scuppered, Natural Beauty and Firebrand. More recently, there is a series of beers under the banner heading 'Wrecked on Scilly' named after shipwrecks - Schiller, Challenger, Association and TW Lawson.