Motivated by a love of real ale and an interest in home brewing, Scott Wayland was in the vanguard of the new wave of craft breweries when he launched his own commercial brewery in 2007, using a pre-used 2.5 barrel plant in Addlestone, North Surrey. Local enthusiasm and CAMRA support for the new ales, such as the first flagship beer “Addlestone Ale”, led to capacity being doubled within a year to a 5 barrel set-up.
By 2009 Scott decided to move home, family and business to a more rural area and, after much searching, found suitable premises for the brewery in an old dairy building on a farm in Sixpenny Handley, on the beautiful Cranborne Chase. The beer range was expanded, and a small bar soon added to the building, principally for offsales, with the chance to try-before-you-buy.
Demand continued to increase as the word spread, helped by the shop rapidly becoming a favoured “local” in the village, and, with beer festival awards coming in thick and fast, by 2011 Scott was able to expand Sixpenny for a third time, now to a 20 barrel plant. This extra capacity allowed the brewery to meet greater demand from across the region, and to continue to develop the selection of beers. In 2014 Sixpenny won the prestigious “Best Drinks Producer” category at the Taste of Dorset Awards, followed a year later with “Best Brewer 2015”.
In 2016 the decision was made to relocate the brewery to bigger premises in nearby Cranborne village. The new site, a restored Victorian barn and stable, has allowed the business to expand further and meet growing demand for both on and off site sales.
Currently, Sixpenny produces a range of three regular beers, and a number of seasonal beers. Bespoke beers for selected customers include the house beer for the local outlet of one of Britain’s biggest ale-pub chains. A range of bottled beers is also produced.
Sixpenny Brewery was proud that its original pub/brewery shop, known as “The Sixpenny Tap”, was included in the 2013 to 2016 editions of the Good Beer Guide. A contender for the “Smallest Pub in Dorset” (and possibly England?) the Tap was open for both takeaway sales and the all too rare opportunity to sample the beers fresh from the brewery. This tiny bar closed and moved along with the brewery during the relocation in 2016, to the improved premises at Cranborne. The new Sixpenny Tap is bigger and more convenient but retains the same cosy atmosphere and all the quirks of the original set up.
“Ales of Outstanding Natural Beauty” from The Cranborne Chase.