Walden brewery at the heart of a revolution

THE “blonde revolution” has begun in Saffron Walden following the launch of a specialised beer.

Bombay Blonde, a modern, light, hoppy beer bottled with a distinctive yellow label, has been brewed in Saffron Walden exclusively for Indian restaurants.

Developed by micro-brewery the Indian Summer Brewing Co. Ltd, based at the Ashdon Road Industrial Estate, the beer was launched to great success at The Mogul Restaurant in High Street on Saturday.

Company partner Julian Hales said: “The launch went superbly well with the beer selling bottle for bottle with Cobra on the night. The blonde revolution is well under way!”

Made using traditional brewing methods, the beer, says Mr Hales, is a “well-hopped blonde using aromatic and new world flavours to cut through all the spices and heat without overpowering the food”.

He had been interested in beer production as a teenager and studied organic chemistry before taking up a career as an insurance broker at Lloyds in London.

He went on to take a three-month brewing course and it was there where he saw a niche market.

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“There was this strong emphasis that ‘beer with food’ is the way forward. Wine with food is still in its relative infancy in this country, but wine is not something you want with Indian food,” he said.

“Then it suddenly came to me – why not sell a proper beer to restaurants. Bombay Blonde complements the food and offers an alternative to the standard lager beers.”

Mr Hales added that the project had been a “very local” one, receiving support from a Saffron Walden bank and shareholders Chris Stringer, of New World Timber and his father Peter Stringer, and Wendens Ambo resident John Power.

“Building the label and the brand has been amazing,” said Mr Hales.

“It has been a very local project and, with a website designed specifically for the beer not the brewery, a very different way of doing things.”

Bombay Blonde had its London launch at The Halal, the oldest curry shop in the East End, on Thursday (April 26).