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Brewing's a Vocation; Ale-maker brings expertise to Yorkshire John Hickling's base in Cragg Vale, Hebden Bridge.

AN award-winning ale maker has opened a new brewery in Cragg Vale.

John Hickling, founder of Nottingham's Blue Monkey Brewery, has brought his expertise north to Hebden Bridge after selling Blue Monkey a year ago.

Vocation Brewery, based in Cragg's business park in New Road, has a production capacity of more than 17,000 pints of cask ale a week, using American hops and fruity flavours including citrus, peach, pineapple, grapefruit and mango. In addition to cask ales, John has plans to bottle some of the beers, with potential for a bottle shop and bar within the brewery.

The first bottles are expected to be available for sale before the end of this month.

Vocation debuted five ales at its launch event at the Old Gate pub in Hebden Bridge last Thursday Heart & Soul, Chop & Change, Divide & Conquer, Bread & Butter and Pride & Joy. The micro-brewery is employing a form of 'whirlpool' technology to heat the wort in the brewing process an external calandria usually used by large-scale brewers. Vocation's mission statement describes it as a 'fiercely independent brewery, hell-bent on producing punchy and distinctive beers'. It said: "Over long days and sleepless nights, we pursue perfection with dogged determination and never compromise our vision. "This relentless persistence makes our beers bold, brave and exhilarating."

John, a former IT worker, entered the world of real ale after buying a home brew kit and becoming hooked.

He founded Blue Monkey in 2008, and has now returned up north to continue brewing his chosen vocation and the reason behind the name 'Vocation Brewery'.

Originally from Heptonstall, John works with sales manager Tom Chapman of Hebden Bridge, former manager of the Hinchliffe Arms in Cragg Vale.

Tom said: "Drinkers are wanting to know a lot more about their beer not just that it tastes good, but about the depth of flavours, style, where it's come from, and something that makes it stand out from others they may have tried. "I believe that the range of beers we will be brewing here at Vocation will be distinctive and leave the consumer wanting more, hopefully much more!"

LAUNCH OF NEW RANGE

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Moorland outlook... Vocation |Brewery's base at Cragg Vale and, inset below, their debut ales

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:May 8, 2015
Words:371
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