JIMMY Swan knows how to brew a good ale.

So with 20 years experience as a brewer – including as head brewer with the popular Wye Valley Brewery – he has now taken matters into his own hands.

Having made Herefordshire his home for 12 years, Jimmy Swan decided his next career move was to set up his own brewery in the county – and so Swan Brewery took flight.

Mr Swan chose a workshop on the Enterprise Park in Leominster for his premises, and spent six months converting it to a brewhouse, store and dispatch area.

It’s been equipped with a 10-barrel brewery (making 2,880 pints at a time), casks and a delivery van.

Brewing started in March and since Easter, publicans have been offering the two flagship ales to their cask ale drinkers.

Swan Gold (4%) is a classic golden ale brewed with the noble Czech hop variety, Saaz.

Swan Amber (4.4%) is more lightly hopped, with locally grown challenger and goldings, and a more malt forward character.

Mr Swan's Leominster premises also house the Cygnet Brewery, a 300-pint brewery used for beer recipe development, small batches of special ales and to propagate the Swan Brewery yeast strain.

More additions to the Swan Brewery portfolio of ales are planned, using both the small and larger brewing equipment.

Spent grain and hops are keeping local chickens and gardeners happy, as Mr Swan passes on brewing by-products to people who can use them productively.

He said: "I’m delighted that after half a year of grafting, I’m brewing just the kind of beers I like to drink myself: classic beer styles, with carefully chosen ingredients, brewed to the best of my abilities. Cheers.”

He has called upon several local companies to help him get Swan Brewery started – builders, refrigeration engineers, plumbers, pipe fitters, IT, designers, accountants and printers.

For the day to day running of the brewery he brews, washes and fills casks and is the drayman doing deliveries.