Newtown Park

Hop-forward magic, and a giant pair of shoes

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Having bought Left Handed Giant’s former home during lockdown, the husband-and-wife team behind Newtown Park Brewing Co knew they had some big shoes to fill, on top of launching in one of the UK’s most consistently high quality craft beer hotspots. Sensibly though, Michael McKelvaney and Lara Light-McKelvaney seem to know exactly what they’re doing, having hired superstar Italian brewer Virginia Casadio and wowed local tastemakers with a raft of immaculate beers at launch.

With a wealth of commercial experience at their backs, it’s no surprise Lara and Michael nailed the launch. Lara has spent the past ten years working as the brand manager at Bart Ingredients, while Michael is a start-up veteran, with such auspicious names as Verdant and Left-Handed Giant on his CV, as well as having been a keen home brewer for many years.

After graduating with a brewing degree from DIEFFE in Padovana, Virginia embarked on a series of prestigious internships across Europe, including Sweden’s Strange Brew, Holland’s Oersoep, London’s Brew By Numbers and most recently a permanent position at Bristol’s Moor Beer Company.

Newtown Park’s focus is on modern hop-forward beers, with all the creativity and technical flourish to impress hardcore craft lovers, while still keeping everything accessible to new converts. 

“The brewery’s independently owned by a group of friends who share a joint vision for excellent food, drink, and good times; these are the things that brought us here and is what our brewery is built on,” says Lara. “We want to be transparent, open, and share knowledge at every opportunity, so if you ever have a question, just ask.”

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