ANOTHER independent brewery is opening in Winchester .

Steve Haigh, 40, is launching Alfred’s Brewery in Winnall after leasing a unit in Winnall Valley Road in April.

It follows the introduction of brewing at the Fulflood Arms in Fulflood earlier this year.

Mr Haigh has been brewing since he was 18 when he was given his first home brew kit: “In the early days it was just a hobby. I found it had an interesting process similar to cooking, with a wide range of ingredients and experiments to be made in the kitchen. Making it commercial meant taking that art and trying to keep it consistent and of a good quality.” Since then, he honed his skills at Hampshire Brewery in Romsey, The Flowerpots in Cheriton and Hogs Back in Surrey before setting up in Winchester. Mr Haigh, who has lived in Kings Worthy for the last eight years and attended Kings School, describes Winchester as “the perfect place to set up business. Winchester is a lively old town with a lot of history and a great pub and restaurant culture. We have some great quality, locally produced food to which I hope to add a tasty pint of beer.”

The first beer from the five-barrel brewery is called Saxon Bronze, a malty brew with notes of honey and citrus fruits.

Mr Haigh has been testing the brew on friends and neighbours: “Everyone is happy to help and I’ve had very favourable reactions to the brew. I’ve had interest from one or two local pubs, but no deals have been set in stone yet. Obviously the beer has only just been made, so I am trying to focus on getting that right, as well as two other trial brews in the pipeline.”

Alfred’s Brewery uses mains water which is subsequently filtered before being used to make beer and then served locally within 20 miles.

To celebrate the launch, Mr Haigh and his wife Isabelle are holding a party at the brewery at 6pm on September 10 with the Mayor of Winchester, Frank Pearson, to drink the first pint of Saxon Bronze.

Alfred’s Brewery aims to supply many local pubs and also sell at Hampshire Farmers’ Market from the end of September. The beer is also soon to be available for private events such as weddings and parties.

Winchester has been the home for several breweries, including the Chesil Brewery until around 1920; the Lion Brewery until 1931 and the Hyde Brewery until 1925.