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Friday musings – Shackleton and Endurance

Yesterday, continuing our theme of allowing Giles to get out more often; we allowed him to stop brewing or delivering for a day and go and take a trip to London. Off he went sandwiches in hand; to visit the Royal Geographical Society’s latest exhibition.

Billed as one of the greatest ever photographic records of human survival on display, he viewed the Enduring Eye: The Antartic legacy of Sir Earnest Shackleton and Frank Hurley. Today, our only trouble is, is that he won’t stop talking about it and now thinks that the cool conditions required to create the perfect beer at the brewery are moderate by comparison. Even our flurry of snow yesterday was little more than an irritant in comparison to the conditions survived by Shackleton and his team in 1914-1917. Apparently.

To be fair he probably has a bit of a point. Today our protection against inclement weather varies from thermals through to high technology breathable fabrics. Not quite the head to toe woollen effect that Shackleton’s men endured. There is a reason that only sheep master that look these days. Enduring temperatures of -60 are also not for the faint hearted; in fact, just looking at the exhibition online at is more than enough to get us donning the hat and gloves!

So aside from the new knowledge that actually the brewery isn’t the coldest place in the world to work, what else have we learnt? Here are some of Giles top facts of the day:

  1. The Endurance Exhibition of 1914 -1917 was not Shackleton’s first crack at getting to the South Pole. In 1907 he headed off on the Nimrod with a certain ‘familiar to these parts’ young man on board called Philip Brocklehurst from the Swythamley estate. Fresh from impressing Shackleton at a boxing match our young Sir Philip joined the expedition as an assistant geologist.
  2. Barely 100 miles from their goal, Shackleton, calculating that to reach their destination would mean that they died of starvation, commanded that they turn back uttering the now infamous line to his wife I thought you would prefer “a live donkey than a dead lion” upon his return to these shores.
  3. Returning as a hero from that exhibition was not enough for Shackleton and “he desperately wanted to have one more go” at ‘securing for the British flag the honour of being the first carried across the South Polar Continent’. He returned to the artic with a crew of 28 men – one of which was a stowaway – and despite the incredibly cruel conditions and diet (raw penguin anyone?) every single man returned alive.
  4. They all had frozen beards and no beer to drink*
  5. The Antartic continent is 1 / 10th of the world’s landmass and is 56 times bigger than the whole of the UK.
  6. Upon the Endurance sinking, Hurley – the official photographer for the exhibition commented “we are homeless and adrift on the free ice”. It is thought that they may have drifted as far as 1000 miles. Finding a land mass becomes the key survival priority.
  7. After reaching Elephant Island dragging 3 boats across the drifting ice behind them; the majority set up camp under the hull of 2 of the boats. The other boat – 22 foot long and open, sets off for South Georgia with Shackleton and 5 others on board, intent on reaching South Georgia and rescue.
  8. Described as one of the greatest feats of navigation and endurance; they arrive in South Georgia whereby Shackleton and 2 others set across the Island on foot to reach the whaling station whereby they could raise help. This had also never been done before. What tremendous feats of endurance indeed.
  9. *not necessarily a top fact for us all, but one that resonates very strongly with some of the (bearded) team, hence the inclusion.
    Sir Ernest Shackleton's ship, the 'Endurance' in the Weddel Sea, Antarctica. A winter flashlight photograph showing the huge blocks of ice which threatened to crush her. The ship finally sank on October 27th 1915 after two months of constant pressure from ice floes.

    Sir Ernest Shackleton’s ship, the ‘Endurance’ in the Weddel Sea, Antarctica. A winter flashlight photograph showing the huge blocks of ice which threatened to crush her. The ship finally sank on October 27th 1915 after two months of constant pressure from ice floes.

A festive date for your diary


Here at the Wincle Beer Co. we will once again be hosting an annual carol service and we’d love you to join us.

It’s a great time to get together with friends and family as we sing around the mash tun to celebrate Christmas.

There will be complimentary beer flowing, a giant Christmas tree and an ample supply of free mulled wine and mince pies. So we hope that you will come along and help us to support two very deserving causes. This year will be raising funds for Wincle C of E Primary School and Cancer Research UK.

The service will take place on Tuesday 22 December at 7.00pm.

Everybody is welcome.

What will you give your true love for Christmas?

Picture of Wincle's 4 bottle box with Christmas ribbon

Picture of Wincle's 4 bottle box with Christmas ribbon

Three French hens, two turtle doves or a partridge in a pear tree?

Well how about four bottles of Wincle beer? At a very special launch offer price.

Here at the brewery our little elves have been getting ready for the festive season. And to make sure things are all packed nicely and ready to go they’ve made some smart, new presentation packs.

Give it the personal touch

The four packs can be filled with any combination of bottles from our core range. So you can make each pack as special as you like and tailored to be the perfect gift or indulgence.

Best of all we’ve put together a really special launch offer of 2 packs for just £20.00. That’s a great saving of £4.00 against the usual retail price.

Of course you don’t have to wait for Christmas.

Our new four packs and a full stock of bottled beers are in the brewery shop now.

Save time when you fancy a bottle of beer

Screen grab of beer outlets widget on the Wincle website

Screen grab of beer outlets widget on the Wincle website

Here in Wincle we’re not always noted for our technical know-how. But with a little bit of help from those smart people on the web we think we’ve got something that you’re going to like.

After listening to what you have to say we’ve come up with a bit of wizardry. Now, no matter where you are, you will always know exactly where to find the nearest supply of Wincle’s beer in a bottle.

The great little web-based gadget is constantly up-dated with our latest stockists – all clearly displayed on a map with their contact details easily to hand. What’s more, at the click of a button, we even give you directions to help make your journey that little bit smoother.

So, save time the next time you fancy a bottle of your favourite beer. Just click on our website and we’ll guide you straight to the nearest shop door.

Follow this link to find your nearest store:

Give someone the Christmas they’ve been dreaming of

Picture of Hayley on the Wincle Beer market stall

Picture of Hayley on the Wincle Beer market stall

John Lewis may well have the best known advertising campaigns when it comes to the festive season. But if you’re looking for the perfect gift for that special person we think we’ve got them licked.

In the run up to Christmas the Wincle Beer Co. will feature all eight of our core range of bottle beers at events around the region. We’ll also be offering our limited edition 8.0% ABV Wassale which would no doubt be welcome in the stocking of any discerning connoisseur.

So, next time you’re out and about why not keep an eye open for Wincle’s market stall and in the words of John Lewis: ‘Give someone the Christmas they’ve been dreaming of’.

Where to find us:

14 November                        Northwich Artisan Market

15 November                        Beer tasting, Tatton Park, Housekeepers Stores

21 November                        Wilmslow Artisan Market

26 November                        Kettleshulme School

28 November                        Bakewell Market

29 November                        Treacle Market, Macclesfield

12 December                        Northwich Artisan Market

19 December                        Wilmslow Artisan Market

19 December                        Bakewell Market

20 December                        Treacle Market, Macclesfield

Of course the brewery shop, with our range of bottle and cask beers is open every day too.


Oktoberfest – put it in your diary

Picture of men drinking at Oktoberfest

Picture of men drinking at Oktoberfest

Next month the Wincle Beer Co. will pay homage to Oktoberfest, the world’s largest beer festival and we’d like you to join us.

While we may not be able to rival the Munich festival for size, with its six million attendees annually, we certainly aim to match it for atmosphere and hospitality here at the brewery.

Doors will open on Friday 16th October at 7.00pm.

There will be lots to eat and drink with offerings from some of the best producers in the area. You’ll also have the opportunity for a sneaky pre-tasting of our 2015 vintage Wassale. The mighty brew, which is 8.0% ABV in bottle and 4.8% ABV in cask will then be put away to mature ready for drinking around Christmas.

A selection of local gin, delicious wine and draught cider will be served at the bar, with a choice of complimentary local cheese and meats also on offer.

As a first for the Wincle Beer Co. we will also stave off the cold nip of autumn when we unveil and switch on the heating.

So if you fancy a Friday night with a difference and the opportunity to say hello to the neighbours why not mark the date in your diary and join us at the brewery.

Attendance is free and there’s no need to book.

We hope you’ll join us.

Woodsman – another great character from Wincle

Picture of Jim Sutton Woodsman to the Swythamley estate, next to large oak tree

Picture of Jim Sutton Woodsman to the Swythamley estate, next to large oak tree

Our brand new beer of the month is inspired by another great Wincle character.  And at 4.4% ABV this Marzen style ale is a brew that pays homage to the Bavarian beer festival.

The story behind the brew is that of Jim Sutton, a woodman on the Swythamley estate. Long before the chainsaw was invented it is said that the master of his craft could drop a mighty oak with just his hands and a well sharpened axe.

It is still said that if you chop your own wood it will warm you twice.

No doubt Jim would have appreciated a pint of the good stuff after a day felling trees. We like to think that Woodsman with its satisfying malty flavour and a clean dry finish could have slaked his thirst.

The Marzen style, light amber ale lends itself perfectly to cooler serving temperature. So there is a limited stock of 750ml, flip top bottles, perfect for the fridge or drinking in the woods, available only from the brewery shop.

Also available in your favourite pubs Woodman can be found in cask, with a cool keg continental style version to follow very shortly.

Thirty five beers and a great festival weekend

Banner advert for Heaton House Big Weekend



There’s always lots to do over the Bank Holiday. Or you could join us for a fabulous festival where we’ll have around 35 beers, ciders and perries on tap and ready to drink.

The Heaton House big Weekend will be a charity extravaganza with a difference. It offers three days of fun for all the family. In addition to the beer festival there will be live music, a hilarious variety show and traditional country fayre.

There’ll be a great range of beer on offer including five of our own:

Burke’s Special: 5.0% ABV, distinctly English in character with a full malty and fruity taste

Summer Lass: 4.5% ABV, continental styled ale

Woodsman: 4.4% ABV, a Marzen Style beer – a homage to the Bavarian festival

Haymaker: 4.2% ABV, light in colour, refreshing and with a great hop character

Sir Phillip: 4.2% ABV, amber in colour, this premium bitter has light malty overtones

All proceeds will go to support local and national charities including: Cancer Research UKDonna Louise TrustMidlands Air AmbulanceEast Cheshire Hospice and Rushton Home School Association.

We Hope you can make it!

For more information:

picture of previous Beer festival


Join us at the National Sheep Dog Trails

Picture of James Gilman, shepherd

Picture of James Gilman, shepherd

Competitors from all over England converged at Macclesfield this week for the National Sheepdog Trails – a tradition that goes back to the 1920s. The winners will go onto the National Championship.

As an avid supporter of country traditions and local activities, it seemed appropriate that the Wincle Beer Co. should be there too. There’s lots to do with a craft fair and fell race for those who have the energy.

We can think of nothing better though than sitting back in the sun with a bottle of your favourite beer while the dogs do all the running. So if it sounds like your kind of thing then rest assured that supplies of our bottled beers are plentiful and you can get your hands on our Summer Lass too.

The trials run from Thursday 6th to Saturday 8th August.

Venue: Sutton Hall, Macclesfield, Cheshire  SK11 7TX

Everyone is welcome to the Trials. Bring your well-behaved dogs on leads please.

Find out more:

Summer Lass goes down a storm in emerging craft keg market

Picture of Summer Lass with SIBA Silver Medal

SIBA Speciality Beers Silver Medal

Wincle’s first foray into artisan brewing specifically for the emerging craft keg market has been rewarded with a much coveted competition medal.

The medal was won by Summer Lass in the speciality category of the North Region Keg Beer Competition run by SIBA – the trade society for independent brewers.

Head Brewer Giles Meadows said: “This is a great result for Wincle and a welcome reward for the first beer that we have brewed for the growing craft keg market.“We were up against 100 other beers and had to impress the panel of 30 judges to secure the silver medal.”

The European styled beer had already met with much acclaim when it proved hugely popular at Wincle’s own beer festival last month.

Summer Lass is a fruity, 4.5% ABV, continental styled ale brewed with Belgium Saison yeast to give a hint of spice in its fruity, summer flavour.

In recognition of its distinctive character a limited edition of 500 hand-filled, 750ml, flip-top bottles of the unfiltered beer are now available from the brewery.