Heckington Windmill and microbrewery team up

Heckington Mill manager Jim Bailey is excitedly awaiting the completion of the first beer from Heckington milled barley. Photo: 4396mf EMN-140919-150411001
Heckington Mill manager Jim Bailey is excitedly awaiting the completion of the first beer from Heckington milled barley. Photo: 4396mf EMN-140919-150411001

Heckington residents are just weeks away from supping their own beer brewed from malted barley ground by their very own windmill.

The collaboration has arisen between volunteers at Heckington Windmill and the owners of 8 Sail Brewery, based on the same site, on Station Road in the village.

Mill manager Jim Bailey has been discussing the idea ever since microbrewer Tony Pygott set up there four years ago, but at the time the mill’s sails had just been taken out of commission for repairs.

Mr Bailey said: “Now we can do what we have been talking about. We did our first session last Saturday. Tony gave us 50kg of malted barley to practice getting it right and then we ground 100kg to make the beer.

“The brewing process is now going ahead and it should be completed and in bottles for drinking in about four weeks.”

Mr Bailey said the process had not proved too difficult to master the ratio for grinding the barley, grown at Ancaster and malted in Grantham. He said: “If it is ground too finely there is too much flour, which sets and blocks up the strainers, stopping the brewing process.

“If that batch works well I think we will grind almost all of his malt. It is a lovely smell - like Ovaltine.”

He was thinking of the name Rolling Stone for the beer, if not copyrighted, but he welcomes any suggestions from readers.

As a result the mill may be able to be in operation more often and it would be a great marketing tool with the windmill and brewery working together, while keeping food miles to a minimum. They are now considering how to get hops grown locally as well, rather than relying on supplies from Kent.