This is Gary, the face of the Blackened Sun in Stacey Bushes. It’s a brewery with a taproom on a small industrial estate on the edge of Milton Keynes. No one is likely to think it a glamorous location, not even Stacey Bushes herself.
But looks can deceive. Gary’s passion for good beer shines through the functional surroundings. There are 6 taps and, though it’s take away only at the moment, Gary provided some generous samples and I settled for a bomber of super fresh Defector.
The brewery has been going over three years and achieved a notable early success when Hedone, a 3.6% saison, won champion beer at the Milton Keynes Beer Festival.
He runs an eco-conscious business. The spent malt goes to a local farmer, who tells him the cows come running when it’s delivered. The used hops go to Branch Out, a community interest company in Milton Keynes that supports people with learning difficulties to learn new skills. The hops are used as fertiliser for their allotment that deters even the most determined slug.
Gary kindly gave me a bottle of Supercoven to take away. It reflects his love of Belgian beer and packs a complex 7% punch. He has his Christmas beer sorted out this year – a chocolate and raspberry imperial milk stout. If his other beers are anything to go by it will be a treat.