Beer lovers are welcoming the arrival of Leicester city centre’s first craft brewery.
Framework Brewery poured their first pint – a hoppy American pale ale – on December 6. Since then, amid their ambition to create an evolving coterie of hop-forward beers, there’s been Simcoe Stout, Centennial Rye and American Amber.
City pubs The Criterion, Broood@ Vin Quatre, West End Brewery, Blue Boar, The Exchange and The Charlotte are stocking their brews, so too the Needle and Pin in Loughborough and the Prince of Wales in Hinckley.
Feedback from pubs and customers has been “very, very encouraging” says Framework’s marketing director Jonathan Briggs.
The brewery, in Friday Street, takes its name from the city and county’s renowned textile trade – a deferential nod to our bygone framework knitters and the theme continues with each brew being anointed a pattern number.
Set up by five directors, Framework specialise in brews made from New World hops. Their beers are also vegan and vegetarian friendly as they don’t use finings, made from fish guts, to remove the cloudiness or ‘haze’, explains director Mat Mabe.
“Myself and the other directors couldn’t see the sense in excluding a significant portion of our potential market,” says Mat. “We want our beers to be enjoyed by everyone and so, instead, we embrace the haze.”
For the brewery’s strategy director Jim Willis, setting up Framework wasn’t just about making and selling great beer.
“It was an exercise in civic pride rather than a conscious business decision,” he says. “Apart from the obvious love of beer, Framework was born because a city the size of Leicester doesn’t have a brewery in the city centre.
“It’s such an exciting time for Leicester and there are so many new people, businesses, and tourists coming to the city.”
As for the future, Framework are looking to expand. “We’d like to be producing to our capacity, which is 7,000 litres a week,” adds Mat, “this would mean brewing seven days a week – and we’d like to expand beyond that.
“We’re not aiming to sell the business,” he adds, “we want this to be an important Leicester beer business. And we always want to make sure our beers are a craft product that are handmade and not mass-produced.”