Garden City Brewery opening date revealed – but sneak peek preview planned for Letchworth Food and Drink Festival

An artist's impression of the Garden City Brewery, which will open on June 11 to coincide with the l

An artist's impression of the Garden City Brewery, which will open on June 11 to coincide with the launch of the Letchworth Festival. Credit: Holly-Anne Rolfe. - Credit: Archant

An innovative ‘microbrewery’ which will produce its wares in full view of punters should open its doors in the middle of Letchworth next month – but not before a ‘sneak peek’ tasting session during the town’s food and drink festival.

The Garden City Brewery will open on the site of the former Aly’s Diner in the Wynd on Saturday, June 11, the first day of the Letchworth Festival, with a mini beer and cider festival to mark the Queen’s 90th birthday.

The brewery will serve its ales ‘on gravity’ – tapping and pouring them straight from the cask rather than through a hand pump – and source locally as much as possible.

“We’ll be opening for a sneak-peek preview over the bank holiday weekend,” said Holly-Anne Rolfe, who is behind the venture.

“It gives us a chance to meet people in a more informal way and get them involved from the outset – we’re really passionate about creating a friendly, community vibe.

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“On June 11, our neighbours Dot to Dot, are also doing an event for the Queen’s 90th, so we’re hoping to create a bit of a street-party feel.”

There are two brews ready so far – a pale ale using American hops and an experimental bitter blending the best of British hops. Next up is a robust porter Holly hopes will be ready by the end of the month.

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The bar will also serve other local ales, ciders and more, as well as non-alcoholic options – including soft drinks made in-house.

The site’s décor is in the same do-it-yourself spirit – the bar is built out of reclaimed scaffolding boards.

The main brewing equipment will be behind the bar, but visible from the drinking area.

“The beauty of being small means we can change and adapt to what people want and have the freedom to experiment and try new things, which is really exciting,” said Holly.

“People’s reactions have been brilliant. We’ve been out and about talking to people and spreading the word, and everyone seems really keen to see something like this in the town.

“The positive vibes have been fantastic. Beer lovers are excited to try ales brewed so close to home.

“We’re a small team, so it’s really busy, but it’s great fun and we’re looking forward to welcoming people for a pint as soon as we’re ready!”

The bar will initially operate from Thursday to Sunday inclusive, opening its doors at 12 noon each day – closing time will be 11pm on Fridays and Saturdays and an hour earlier on Thursdays and Sundays.

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