In his New Beer Guide (1988), Brian Glover recounts the story of Mike Reynolds and the Paradise Brewery, just down the road from us in Hayle:
[The brewery] was installed in 1981 in outbuildings which already had planning permission for craft use. Mike Reynolds considered small-scale brewing a craft and went ahead. Penwith District Council considered brewing an industry and objected. Eventually the case (with a little help from CAMRA) went on appeal to the Department of the Environment — which is where Michael Heseltine leapt in as Secretary of State, ruling in favour of the brewery.
In 1988, that was a nice little story but, twenty five years on, has it take on a new importance? (To beer geeks, at least…) Did the Government, with this intervention, establish a precedent for what does and doesn’t count as ‘craft’ brewing in the UK? They did so for ‘draught beer’ and ‘cask ale’, so it is possible.
We can’t find any contemporary newspaper coverage but, when we get the chance, we’ll do some digging in the Cornwall county archives. We’d also love to read contemporary paperwork from the DoE. In the meantime, if anyone else can point us to more information, or remembers this case, please comment below.
Bonus: Mike Reynolds sounds like an amazing bloke: amongst other achievements, he also invented the Milky Bar kid!