The Keltek Cornish Brewery began life in a small stable on the Roseland Peninsula and for years was run by its founder “Big” Stu Heath, much more as a hobby than a business. But after winning a vast number of regional, national and even international awards, the brewery soon expanded, and over the years Keltek has grown into one of the largest capacity breweries in the West Country.
Now based in Redruth in Cornwall, we have invested in our own in-house bottling facilities, and in 2013 we became only the second brewery in Cornwall to own its own estate of public houses. Keltek remains a family owned brewery that adheres to the age old traditions of brewing by hand with care and craftsmanship using the finest whole hop flowers, British malts and hand-pitched yeast.
The Keltek Cornish Brewery is an ISO9001, ISO14001 and OHSAS 18001 accredited brewery.
Keltek, meaning ‘Celtic’ in the Cornish language – the name ascribed to the ancient tribes that once inhabited Cornwall – was chosen as the brewery’s name by founder and head brewer Stuart Heath. Stuart’s long felt passion for beer and pubs led him into the brewing world in 1997 when, frustrated at the unimaginative, flavourless beer on offer at his local pub, he made a wager with the landlord.
The deal was that if he could brew a superior pint, the landlord would put it on a pump at the bar. The landlord agreed and Stuart started brewing on a 2.5 barrel microbrewery in a disused stable block on the Roseland Peninsula in Cornwall. After winning gold for his very first brew, demand for his new and exciting beers grew tremendously and expansion was needed. The first move was to a larger unit in Lostwithiel where the brewery’s capacity increased five-fold.
In 2007 Keltek expanded again, moving to its current home in Redruth. We now have the capacity to brew over 250 brewer’s barrels a week. In addition, we have our own fully automated and state of the art bottling line which filters, carbonates, fills, labels and caps the beer. Everything’s done in-house. In 2011 the brewery was formally accredited to the ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 international standards for our Quality Systems, Environmental Systems and Health & Safety Systems, making us one of very few artisan breweries in the world to have achieved all three accreditations.
In 2013 Keltek acquired four pubs in the vicinity of the brewery, becoming just the second brewery in Cornwall to own its own estate of public houses.
We start by pitching the malt (or “grist”) into the mash tun and carefully wetting all the grains to form the mash, which is hand-mixed by our artisan brewers until it reaches the perfect consistency. This process activates natural enzymes which convert starches in the grain into sugar, which will later be fermented into alcohol.
We then “sparge” the converted mash by sprinkling water over it, which slowly drains through the wet grains. During this process the sugars, along with a myriad of subtle flavours, are dissolved into the water, which becomes the wort.
The unhopped wort is passed into the copper (a giant kettle), and this strong flavoured, sweet liquor – which at this point tastes like a sweet, malty bedtime drink – is brought to the boil. We then pitch the whole hop flowers into the copper and boil them in the wort until just the right amount of flavour and bitterness have been infused into the liquor.
The boiled, hopped wort is cooled and passed into one of our closed-top fermentation vessels, where the yeast is pitched and allowed to work for several days, busily fermenting the sugars into alcohol, until the desired alcoholic strength is achieved.
At this point the beer is quickly cooled, which temporarily puts the yeast to sleep and stops the fermentation process. Some of the beer is then transferred for processing into bottles. Our bottled beer is the same beer as we sell in casks – not a special recipe that tastes different. At Keltek we use a subtle process for bottling which retains the original flavours of the beer whilst still giving it a good shelf life.
The rest of the beer is prepared for casking. At this point many modern breweries offering cask ales then pass the beer into closed conditioning tanks, making it easier to clear the beer when it’s subsequently put into the cask. However, we believe that a far more pleasing pint is achieved by following the traditional method of cask-conditioning whereby the chilled beer is filled directly into casks where it is allowed to warm up. The yeast then wakes up and ferments the last little bit of remaining sugar, adding a gentle, natural effervescence to the beer which then has a perfect head on it when it gets served in the pub. It takes us a little longer this way but we think it’s worth the effort to offer the most traditional of ales.
The Coppice at Lanner, Lanner
A large pub with 2 bars and a separate dining room, extensive gardens with children’s play area and vast parking. As well as offering the complete range of Keltek ales the pub serves excellent food every day with a superb carvery on Sundays in the restaurant and has an excellent wine list with exceptionally good pub favourites and an extensive list of fine wines. Special events, conferences and weddings are a speciality of the Coppice.
The Fox and Hounds, Scorrier
A picture-postcard pub on the cycle trail with a garden and a very large car park. The pub offers a range of Keltek ales and good wines. Food is cooked by your host Sue Swiss who personally slaves behind the stove to bring you the finest selection of home cooked dishes.
The London Inn, Summercourt
The furthest East of the Keltek pubs, just a minute or so off the main A30 trunk road and accessible when travelling in either direction. The London Inn is cosy and welcoming inside with a large car park. The range of Keltek ales is accompanied by excellent home cooked pub food prepared personally by your hosts Derek and Joan. A classic Cornish village pub.
The Robartes Arms, Illogan
A classic village pub serving the very best kept Keltek ales along with excellent value wines of superior quality. There’s a small car park and ample street parking. The pub offers darts, pool and other entertainment. In the restaurant area your hosts Paul & Sheila will treat you to an ever-changing selection of delicious home-cooked food.
Monday – Friday
9.00 – 17.00
Fax: 01209 215197
Registered no. 2577713
VAT no. 591194620