Master brewer sells bottled Stonehenge spring water after drilling well in back garden

Saturday, 23rd May 2015

Sourced from Salisbury Journal - follow link to original article

A MASTER brewer from Netheravon who became so fed up with the cost of water that he set about digging his own well is now not only able to supply his brewery but is also selling thousands of bottled spring water to Stonehenge Visitor Centre.

Stig Andersen and his wife, Anna Marie, who own Stonehenge Ales, are using water drawn from the Salisbury Plain aquifer via a 16-metre borehole in their garden.

The couple, who moved to Wiltshire from Denmark in 1993 to become micro-brewers, said the exact location of the wellspring was found using the ancient art of dowsing.

Mr Andersen said: “A company in Pewsey drilled it and they had a 90-year-old man who did dowsing for them - it was he who found the right place to do it.

“It’s something we have considered doing for ten years and a couple of years ago it became feasible.

“It was because we were using so much water at the brewery - about 120 cubic metres a month with it being around £2 per cubic metre.”

Mrs Andersen, who is half Inuit and an artist, said: “Dowsing uses divining tools such as two metal ‘L’ shaped rods which are held in each hand in front of the body while walking forwards slowly.

“When the rods crossed over forming an ‘X’ shape, access to the source was established.

“The water comes from the same aquifer that runs under Stonehenge and has the same temperature, between 12 and 14 degrees, so it never freezes.

“Recent research suggests that the water may have been why people in ancient times visited Stonehenge.

“Because it’s pure, clean and tastes so good, I thought why don’t we bottle it.”

Having got through all the necessary red tape, the couple began bottling the water last month and are already selling around 1,200 bottles a week to tourists at the Stonehenge Visitor Centre.

“The water we are using has over many, many years trickled through a thick layer of chalk that acts as a natural filter,” Mr Andersen said.

“Once it is pumped up, it goes into the building where we have a trough filter then it goes through a UV light which kills any other bacteria before it then goes to production in the brewery or into the house where we bottle it once it has gone through two further sterile filters.

“While it would be lovely to sell it nationwide at some point, everything must be bottled at source because it is spring water and it might prove difficult to produce it here on such a large scale.”

The logo for the bottled water was designed by Ben Hayward and involves a charcoal rubbing from one of the stones.

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