Sadler's Ales, Mud City Stout
Established in 1900 by Nathaniel Sadler, Sadlers used to supply a dozen locally tied pubs in the Black County including the original taphouse, the Windsor Castle.
The Brewery was later inherited by Nathaniel’s Son, Thomas Sadler, who continued as the head brewer up until 1927 when the last pint was brewed there. The last pint for nearly 77 years that is.
Thomas’ son Jack didn’t carry on the family business but growing up in the brewhouse must have made its mark. Because in 2004 Jack’s son (John) and grandson (Chris), inspired by their pop's tales, revived a family tradition with the launch of Sadler’s Ales and the opening of a new Windsor Castle brewhouse.
At this point in time John was running a successful print business where the brewhouse now stands. This sudden change of direction should be reassuring for those of us who find ourselves in our 40s and embarking upon an entirely different or unexpected career.
Reviving a family business is no mean feat. There is clearly a need to balance a respect for what has gone before with the commercial challenges of launching a new brewery in the UK to a more demanding punter.
In this case the result is quite the success story across the West Midlands. The Sadler’s range of 12 core beers and monthly specials can be found in over 250 pubs and grace the shelves of several supermarkets.
Despite this expansion there is still a commitment to the local area. This includes the beery tribute to the period television show Peaky Blinders but also some more significant projects. Earlier this year John, Chris and their team opened a brewhouse and bar in Lye. This represents the culmination of an eight month project and £500,000 investment that transformed an industrial unit on a Black Country trading estate in the process. And boy are they happy with it (Note: for southerners and Black Country exiles there is even a Brewhouse and Barbecue in Southampton).
For this week’s beer we chose Sadler's Mud City Stout. At 6.6% abv this signature beer is full bodied and boasts raw cocoa, vanilla pods as well as flaked oats amongst its ingredients. What we get as a result is a well balanced and suitably complex beer that goes really well with food (whispers roast dinner or chocolate cake). It’s fast becoming something of a classic in these parts and, much like the Black Country itself, there’s a lot more going on in this beer than you might first suspect.
We think it’s bostin.