Leigh On Sea’s First Brewery
Leigh on Sea Brewery brews refreshingly hoppy beers across the region
The Leigh on Sea Brewing Company was conceived in late December 2016 during a modest tour of local hostelries. With some eighty-odd years of ale drinking under their belt, Ian and Mark agreed that they knew a thing or two about beer and noted the absence of a brewery in Leigh on Sea, or indeed in Southend.
The seed was sown. Pipedream turned to reality early in 2017 when the opportunity arose to put their talents together and pursue their passion for quality beer by actually making it. Premises were found, investors bought in, HMRC and the local Council were satisfied, and their brewers got themselves as much training and experience as time would allow. Just seven months later the first beer began to flow.
Legra Pale: A light, fresh and sessionable golden ale. Single hopped, during the boil and the following fermentation, with lashings of Citra hops for a clean citrus flavour. Tastes fantastic with seafood – especially a pint of prawns on the Old Leigh seafront!
The earliest known record of Leigh-on-Sea is in the Domesday Book of 1086 when it was known as Legra. At that time its estimated value was 100 shillings. Leigh grew into an important port, benefiting from the busy sea trade up to the Thames to London.
Six Little Ships: Their most traditional beer – a British best bitter, hopped with suitably titled seafaring hops; Admiral and Columbus. A fantastic match with Leigh on Sea fish and chips!
Early in WW2 the British Expeditionary Force and its allies were evacuated from Dunkirk (Dunkerque) when cut off by German forces. An armada of civilian and naval boats with RAF fighter cover enabled 198,000 British and 140,000 French and Belgian troops to be rescued from the beaches. Six boats from Leigh-on-Sea set sail on 31st May 1940 to join that armada. Five returned home after the rescue – but the Renown struck a mine and was lost with its 4 crew.
Two Tree Island Red: A spicy red ale with a blend of malts including dark crystal for colour, and some big American hops for flavour and aroma. Great with seafood – especially a pint of Old Leigh cockles!
Two Tree Island lies to the south-west of Leigh-on-Sea, connected to the mainland by a bridge. The island was reclaimed from the Thames Estuary in the 18th century and was employed in turn as pastureland, a sewage works and a landfill site. It is now a nature reserve run by Essex Wildlife Trust. It is home to a wide range of waders, gulls and other British birds, including curlew, dunlin, avocet, and redshank.
Crowstone: A rich blend of malts gives this distinctive beer its dark colour while serious quantities of New World hops provide flavour and aroma. Tastes fantastic when coupled with roasted or barbecued meats.
A number of boundary markers in the Thames and Medway, known collectively as London Stones mark the former limits of the jurisdiction of the City of London. The downstream marker on the north bank is called the Crowstone. It is about 33.5 miles from London Bridge as the crow flies. The present marker was erected in 1837, replacing a smaller one from 1755. It is likely that there has been a marker on this site – and opposite on the Isle of Grain, Kent since 1285. The line between these 2 stones is known as the Yantlet Line and this line was formerly the limit of jurisdiction of the Port of London Authority.
Cockle Row Spit: Strong and full flavoured with hops from the Czech Republic and the USA. This beer is dry hopped after fermentation for extra aroma. A great accompaniment to curries and other spicy foods. Originally the Trinity House buoy Westmark Knock, this buoy has been relocated to the prime position at the entrance to the High Street, Old Leigh.