Bazens’ Brewery was a brewery based in Salford, Greater Manchester, England. Bringing a healthy CV in brewing which included two years as Head Brewer at the Phoenix Brewery (now known as the Oak Brewing Co.) in Heywood, Greater Manchester, Richard Bazen went indie in 2002. Making his wife Jude a business partner – “hence [the name] Bazens’ and not Bazen’s!” -as the now-offline website once reminded – Bazen opened Bazens’ Brewery for business in July of that year.
Despite the steady amount of awards bestowed on Bazens’ varied and innovative brews, however, various issues kept the brewery moving locations for the next 14 years. In 2005, Bazens’ Brewery – now doing business as Safford Brewing Syndicate – joined Facers Brewery and moved to Knoll Street in Salford. In 2010, Bazens’ dropped the professional association with Facers and called the historic Star Inn home.
This home would seem to have been perfect for Bazens’ Brewery, with higher exposure to tourists and visitors than its other locations implying the opportunity to spread the word about the beer. Upon its grand opening in the new location, Bazens’ Brewery began producing the inn’s new homebrew, the gorgeously-labeled Starry Night Ale. In 2011, Bazens’ was renamed to rather more generic Star Brewery to indicate the closer tie-in with the inn, and ultimately closed doors in 2016. As of the end of 2017, the Star Inn has not entered into any agreement with a new brewer or brewery.
So what happened to Richard Bazen?
You can’t keep a good brewmeister down and, despite the demise of his independent label, Richard Bazen managed to land on his feet. And why not? The guy has worked all over Salford and Greater Manchester, with stops at Bridgewater Ales and Holt, Plant & Deakin in addition to the aforementioned Phoenix Brewery before running his own beery enterprise. By 2016, his work experience totaled 30 years in brewing.
As September 2016, Bazen is employed crafting beers at the Brinkburn Street Brewery in Newcastle. A local media outlet covering the operation noted that Bazen currently “splits his time between Brinkburn and Switzerland.” Nice.
Awards won by Bazens’ Brewery beers
In its decade and a half of existence, the creativity of Bazens’ beers consistently earned the brewery medals at international festivals and exhibitions. Particularly touted were the following early productions, most of which became regular offerings at the brewpub. These award-winning brews included Bazens’ Pacific Bitter (née Bazens’ Navigator); Bazens’ Flatbac; Bazens’ Black Pig and Black Pig Mild; and 20 Not Out.
Brews that Bazen & co. are producing now include Fools Gold, Geordie Pagoda, Hop Gremlin, Poh Session, Pursuit of Hoppiness, Tino (named for a Newcastle United football legend, which must get slightly under Bazens’s craw, as one’d figure the brewmaster to be a Man U. or Man City fan) and the flagship quaff Byker Brown Ale.
Real backstreet beer with a pub feel
Now what self-respecting pub crawler doesn’t enjoy a pint with their best mates and take up a good game of darts or be a bit of a chancer at the fruit machine. Not to forget that many of the clever names of Bazens’ beer are just as whimsy as those pub fruities tend to be. Now for most people who’ve tried them know they’re notorious for taking money. This is always true when it comes to inexperienced players who don’t know how to get a good strategy in their favour. Check out these free online fruit machines that don’t cost you a penny while you enjoy an ice cold pint of your favorite brew. It may just give you a similar experience that folks used to enjoy at the old Star Inn pub.