A Prize-winning Winchester beer has gone on sale direct to the general public for the first time.

Saxon Bronze, which recently took bronze in the Hampshire Beer of the Year competition, is produced by Winnall-based Alfred’s Brewery.

On Saturday, January 12, real beer enthusiasts were for the first time able to buy it from the source – poured into cartons straight from the cask.

Steve Haigh, who founded the brewery with his wife Isabelle, said: “The idea is you get to look the man in the eye who made the beer. And for me it’s great to meet the people who are drinking the beer we produce.”

The shop, which is open on Fridays and Saturdays, follows the launch of the brewery in September last year, when Winchester’s mayor Frank Pearson kindly sampled the first official glass.

Alfred’s Brewery aim to supply pubs throughout Winchester and the Chronicle previously reported how they got off to a flying start in securing the custom of Badger Farm Social Club.

Speaking at the time, club chairman, Richard Butler, said: “What can I say? It’s probably one of the best real ales I’ve tried. It’s just a fantastic brewery.”

In the past Winchester has been home to several breweries, including the Chesil Brewery until circa 1920; the Lion Brewery until 1931 and the Hyde Brewery until 1925.