A LATCHFORD brewery run by a two-man team is celebrating after more than doubling its capacity due to its popularity and success in Warrington and further afield.

It has been quite a journey for 4Ts owner John Wilkinson who started home brewing in his garage in Rydal Avenue 10 years ago and now his beers are a Warrington institution.

John and head brewer Jordan Millington’s latest move has been to invest in a new brew kit at their Manor Industrial Estate base.

The upgrade means they can now produce 2,000 litres of beer at any one time – an increase of 1,200 litres per brew.

And when new fermenting vessels are added to the set up in the summer they will be able to make between 5,000 and 10,000 litres of beer a week.

John, who used to work as a drayman for Tetley Walkers and has had a sports bar called The Tavern in Church Street since 1998, said: “It started off as a hobby to supply one pub and has evolved into a business where we’re supplying hundreds of pubs.

“There is a lot of work and my role has changed over the years but it’s very enjoyable.”

From the home brewing days and old brew site in Runcorn to the current Latchford brewhouse, John and Jordan have created more than a thousand recipes.

There are still currently more than 50 beers in fairly regular production and bestsellers include APA (American pale ale) and session IPA Geronimo.

The pair make a range of traditional and modern beers and see the new kit as the chance to experiment more.

Jordan, of Festival Crescent, Orford, added: “The new brew kit opens a lot of opportunities to do more modern-style beers because we’ve got the facilities now to do them.

“We’ll be looking at different dry hopping processes. Every hop gives you a different flavour and new varieties are being introduced all the time.

Warrington Guardian:

“Before the new kit we were at capacity with the profile of beers that we produced but now we have the chance to experiment.

“There is also a new type of hop out there now called cryo hops which are more concentrated so that gives us the chance to make those really intense, punchy beers that are becoming more and more popular.”

John has recently been inspired by the likes of Manchester’s Squawk, Liverpool’s Neptune and London’s The Kernel.

He said: “I really like Squawk.

“They’ve just done a stout with a load of hops in it. It plays havoc with traditionalists but it tastes great and it works.

“We’ve got a whirlpool machine now which allows you to play about with the hops and the flavours so we too can go into the ‘wacky’ market.

“A Welsh brewery called Tiny Rebel even made a beer to taste like a jam doughnut and Northern Monk made a Neapolitan ice cream beer.

“We already put peanut butter in one of our stouts and you can add things like mango and green tea if it suits the beer profile. It sounds crazy but these beers can taste great.”

Jordan added: “We’re always looking for the next big beer. It’s like Manchester’s Seven Brothers brewery collaborating with Kellogg’s. They upcycle cornflakes, Coco Pops and Rice Krispies by using them in the beer.”

Another goal 4Ts has for the Warrington beer scene is to open a venue that only serves ale from independent breweries.

John said: “In Newton you have The Firkin and in Knutsford you have Dexter and Jones.

“But Warrington does not have a dedicated craft beer bar where it’s all independent breweries on the taps.

“We’re working towards opening somewhere like that.”