This week in our meet the brewer series we’re chatting to Bishop Nick, an Essex brewery with historic origins.

So, tell us about your brewery, who you are and what your role(s) at the brewery are?
Bishop Nick is nestled in the heart of Essex, a few miles from the River Chelmer where Ridleys Brewery was founded in 1842. Nelion Ridley, the 6th generation of the celebrated brewing family, set up Bishop Nick with his wife in 2011 to keep the tradition alive. They launched with three traditional East Anglian beers loosely based on old Ridley recipes. Now stocked throughout and beyond the county of Essex, Bishop Nick has garnered some impressive industry awards and has an ever growing range of core and Limited Edition beers. Head Brewer Alex Ratter answers the questions below…

Bishop Nick

Can you describe Bishop Nick in three words?
Handcrafted, dependable, approachable.

What are your personal favourite styles of beer?
Pale Ales and traditional Bitters.

Which of your beers is the biggest fan favourite/most popular?
‘Ridleys Rite’ is our best seller – a good honest session beer at 3.6 per cent. A classic beauty.

Which of your beers would you recommend to a first-timer at your bar?Bishop Nick
I’d personally recommend ‘Heresy’. This brilliantly refreshing 4 per cent golden ale, a core beer for Bishop Nick from the outset, has been decorated with a number of industry awards.

Best beer snack?
Cheese and bread!

If you could get one music artist/celebrity to represent your brewery, who would best fit your business and ethos?
Ray Winstone – no nonsense!

If you could make a beer using any flavours, and guarantee that it be delicious, which flavours would you love to use?
Hops! Actually, I love ginger – fresh root ginger. Problem is, if you add enough to satisfy the ginger lovers, you risk alienating those who don’t like it. And if you hold back it’s just not gingery enough. Definitely not to everyone’s taste.

What are you looking forward to at the Great British Beer Festival this summer?
A chance to meet up with old friends (and train spotting on the journey to London!)

Bishop Nick

What makes the Great British Beer Festival special, and what has motivated you to come this year?
The huge variety of well-kept and well-served ales and the spectacular venue. So much better than when it was at Earl’s Court! It is particularly exciting this year, with a couple of our beers in the Champion Beer of Britain final and our own brewery bar.

What exciting things does Bishop Nick have coming up?
Revelry Day – a Father’s Day family open afternoon at Bishop Nick on 16th June, a summer of CAMRA beer festivals including taking a bar at Chelmsford Summer Beer Festival and the East Anglian Beer Festival in Bury St Edmunds, and Essex Food and Drink Festival with our range of bottle conditioned ales.

Fancy trying their beers? Get your tickets to the festival today.