Setting up a brewery is always going to be a tricky job – choosing recipes, designing imagery, finding premises etc. It can also be a lengthy process, growing steadily from home brewing to your first proper kit. I’ve known some brewers take at least a couple of years to get established, so the achievement of Ian Hemingway is pretty astonishing.
I met Ian at his Little Ox brewery nestling near the beautiful Oxfordshire town of Woodstock and the magnificent Blenheim Palace. The plain industrial unit with no signage doesn’t give a hint on the outside of the magic that happens on the inside. In just nine months though Ian has created a perfectly formed brewery complete with beer shop and bottling line.
The imagery on his three main bottle lines is eye catching with a striking ox’s head standing out front and centre. I particularly like the look of Odd Bod as it reminds me of Kenneth Williams and Fenella Fielding in the classic movie Carry on Screaming. The beers are excellent too, my personal favourite is Wipeout, a bold pale ale full of US hops with loads of flavour for a lowish ABV. We’re also looking forward to trying his new summer beer Goldilox, a 3.9% refresher.
Ian keeps the entire brewing and bottling inhouse, so he has 100% control of the entire process from start to finish. All the brewery equipment has come to Ian via Allendale in Northumberland, another one of our brewery partners. With a background in plumbing, Ian was more than useful when it came to setting up and commissioning everything, he now has to turn his hand to assembling the bigger bottling line he recently purchased.
We’re delighted to feature Little Ox’s Wipeout in our Beer for a Year selection in July, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it as much as I do!