After 16 years, the UK’s most south westerly brewery — Ales of Scilly — has a new face at the helm.
The brewery was set up on the beautiful Isles of Scilly in 2001 by Mark Praeger, a retired teacher from the islands with a passion for brewing. Over the last couple of years Mark had been considering retiring (again!) and handing over the brewery to someone with as much passion and drive as he had when he started.
He said: “The brewery is my baby and I wanted someone to take it on who would be able to continue its growth and popularity, both locally and potentially into Cornwall and Devon.”
Mark advertised the brewery locally on Facebook and received a lot of interest from the community, but was swayed by the enthusiasm and varied experience of Jen Trevithick, originally from Falmouth, Cornwall.
Jen took on the brewery earlier this year after spending a few months as Mark’s apprentice. She said: “I have to admit, I had never brewed before I met Mark, but now I absolutely love the process — creating something from scratch for people to consume that is so natural and has so much history attached to it makes me proud.”
Some of the earliest records of brewing go back to 4,300BC when it was an exclusively female industry, even having a goddess of beer, Ninkasi. Over the years, beer fashions have changed, but there is currently a national rise in female brewers (or brewsters) who are being credited with assisting with the growth in the beer industry.
Jen has a lot of plans for the brewery and is hoping to support a lot of the events that are happening on the isles while supplying the bars, cafés, restaurants and shops on the five inhabited islands.
She said: “There is a massive drive to use local produce on the islands and I have been approached by a number of event organisers already that want to do this as much as possible… I am looking forward to a full events calendar for this summer and in the future.”
Having a background in marketing and events management, Jen has some plans for events for the brewery itself. “Watch this space, she said.
• Ales of Scilly can be found on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and will have a new website online very soon (at www.alesofscilly.co.uk/) with an online shop