The Brewery Dashboard

The Brewer Alan “Curly” Wood

A 64 year old unemployed photographer with a burning ambition to form a Village People tribute band.

Unlucky Start

Having left school at 14, his first job was with FedEx, sorting parcels on the overnight flight from the UK to the US. Within the first year the cargo plane went down and everyone, except Curly, was killed. He spent the next 5 years on an uninhabited island with nothing except 2 items he saved from the crash, a parcel and a copy of the Guardian newspaper. He had plenty of water but it wasn't fresh, so he was forced to brew it into beer. Over those 5 years he became an expert brewer and vowed to himself that when rescued he'd personally deliver the parcel, start up his own brewery and never read the Guardian again.

Back From Beyond

Having returned to civilisation he forgot the rest of his vows quicker than a priest at a Boy Scout jamboree. He continued to buy the Guardian and instead of starting a brewery he took up photography. His collection of London pub interiors is well worth seeing and they are displayed in his Brewery Tap. He even lectured on photography at Chesterfield College until he was sacked after being arrested in London. Whilst in the infamous Flying Scotsman pub near Kings Cross Station, London, and during a performance of eastern european ladies removing their clothes to music, he started taking photos, he claimed, of original 18th century wall tiles. The resulting melee landed him infront of the local Beak, who didn't believe him either.

Now Brewing

Out of work and destitute, he was forced to turn to the only other thing he could do... brewing. He named the brewery after Townes Van ZandtnewWindow a county singer and it was hoped that all his fans would buy Townes beers. Trouble is there's only about 60 of them and they all live in Fort Worth, Texas. Listen to his “Waitin' Around To Die” track, which has great footage from the aircraft boneyard in Tucson, Arizona just in case you get fed up of the music.

The Brewers Friends The Wild Bunch

You don't want to mess with this lot

Fight Club

Never seen in the Speedwell Inn, the Saturday Fight Club lot enter Curly's first floor bachelor pad via the back passage. Bouts of Greco-Roman wrestling are common place, naked and covered in extra virgin olive oil, they wrestle the night away. Curly sometimes wears the actual mask used in the film Silence of the Lambs which he bought off Ebay. He has given permission for a photo of him wearing the mask to be use but it is just to frightening to publish.



Buffalo Bills

No one knows how this lot get into the bachelor pad but this weird event takes place twice a year. It's called Buffalo Billing and Curly and his mates spend all day wearing nothing but a blanket drapped around themselves and their willies pulled through to the back and trapped, to give the appearence of being a woman. Last year two members of the Nottingham branch of the Hells Angles join the event but left after 45 minutes, last seen running towards Staveley... terrified.

The Brewery Tap The Speedwell Inn

An old English real ale pub atmosphere trapped for ever in Lowgates, the cultural centre of Staveley, near Chesterfield, Derbyshire.


In 1998 Curly, the head brewer, offered Mansfield Brewery newWindow £110,000 for their flagship pub, the Speedwell Inn. The Mansfield board laughed at the offer, so Curly offered them a merger deal and they laughed again, only louder. Within a few days he owned the whole group and the board laughed no more. Within a few months, in 1999, he asset stripped the whole group, with Wolverhampton & Dudley newWindow picking up everything but the Speedwell Inn. He sold everything for £85,000 less then he paid for it and then remortgaged the Speedwell for £110,000. This totally ruthless man is a legend in the City.




Speedwell Inn
S43 3TT

Phone: 01246 472252
Website: www.speedwellinn.com newWindow

Miscellaneous Any Other Stuff

If it's not been covered else where on the dashboard then you'll find it here.

Sensible Drinking Policy

Unlike supermarkets, who use cheap alcoholic drinks to entice customers into their store and then claim to subscribe to a sensible drinking policy, we don't wish to insult the intelligence of our customers... having brewed the beer in the first place, our aim is to sell as much of the stuff as possible and to any idiot who will buy it.

That said, we don't let our patrons quaff copious amounts of beer and not be capable of getting home. Our policy is to put them up for the night in the Brewer's bachelor pad above the Speedwell Inn, where they encounter The Brewers Friends (see below in the Dashboard). It's actually a far more effective deterrent to binge drinking than any thieving fiddling politician has ever come up with.


It's first for 15 years, Townes Brewery is embracing the second decade of this new millennium with a huge and historic period of investment. This £4,500 website by Saki & Saki and each and every one of its pubs will be having a brand new wood burning fireplace, breaking with the tradition that all of Townes pubs had the complete absence of any heating system. Scheduled to commence on Monday 31st January, 2011, it's anticipated to take several months to complete.

Graeme Brown the financial whiz kid of the main board issued this press release...
“We did consider going to the City to raise the capital needed, however, the current shareholders rallied round to our needs, giving us the prospect of real growth.”

Chairman John McCaig commented...
“The only growth you'll see around here is on Curly's chin.”


Townes Brewery welcomes CAMRA newWindow members into its pubs with open arms... as long as they're in two's. A married couple would be smashing, same sex couples are fine but CAMRA members in a group of more than two, no thank you.


All beards and sandals and that's just the women, they all swamp the bar each purchasing their own beer. After several Nudge Nudge Wink Wink moments over being Camra Pub Of The Month if they get free beer, they settle down to sip their half pint and make notes. They all claim to be experts and not one of them has drunk more than five half pints in the same session. Of course there are always exceptions and Rhoda ex-chair of the Chesterfield branch is one of them. Always a champion of Townes ales she also supplies the lads who frequent the Speedwell Inn with free viagra tablets.

The Beers

Brewed in the rear of the Speedwell Inn.


There are 3 brews in constant production, the renowned Staveley Cross Best Bitter, Speedwell Bitter and the celebrated Pynot Porter. Many CAMRA members consider Pynot to be the best porter ever brewed.

Garage beer is a term used to describe beer that anyone can brew in their own garage. Pioneered back in the early 1990's by Chesterfield born Alan “Curly” Wood, it differs from homebrew beer only by its smell. Which is why it always ended up in the garage.

Dead Society

New brews are continually evolving and the R&D section of Townes use the Dead Society range of beers as one off experiments. Recently a brew called Brassed Off, celebrated the life of one of Britains best loved actors, Pete Postlethwaite new. It was a 4%ABV pale bitter coming between our popular Speedwell Bitter and our Staveley Cross Best Bitter but using hops organically grown locally in Poolsbrook giving it that unique colliery flavour. It went down a storm and it's hoped the forthcoming Royall Wedding brew will be similar

Royal Wedding

Curly has got his socks off, treding the mash as you read. It's a filthy practice that can be done mechanically but Curly likes to dip his toe in. He's a traditionalist Curly, through and through. At the age of 6 he was chosen from thousands of school kids to be a pageboy at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth and he loved it. In 1981, because of the coronation connection, he was invited to be a footman at the wedding of Charles and Diana. By 2005 Curly's obsession with Buffalo Billing (see The Brewer's Friends below) was public knowledge and he was snubbed at the wedding of Charles and Camilla. So the brew's name... you've guessed it, Republican Best Bitter.

Burgin's Beer Run Info & Review

Watch Burgin run from pub to pub. 20 of the best pubs in North Derbyshire, Worksop and Sheffield.


Who is this man Burgin who spends all his time running from pub to pub. He's actually a cripple who qualifies for a free car, being one of that group who the Tories keep suggesting are the biggest drain on our society. This Beer Run exposes him as the fraudster he is and it's totally unfair that he gets Disability Living Allowance whilst Neil & Glenys Kinnock have to buy their own food at weekends. Most of the pubs used on the Beer Run have served Townes beers at some time but that's not why they're chosen. They really are Burgin's favourite pubs and no commercial transactions have taken place. If your maths are good you'll have noticed that there's only 18 pubs when there should be 20. That's because he can't make his mind up on the last 3 and any suggestions are welcome.


An experiment in HTML5 and Google Chrome, the RunIt feature (right) is cutting edge internet technology. Put together by RadicalMedia new for Arcade Fire new, an innovative band from Canada. Some visitors using older computers may experience a few difficulties when trying the RunIt feature as it's specifically developed for the Google Chrome browser. You can download it here logo and we promise you it's worth it.

Contact Us

Thanks for looking and we’d love to hear from you. Even better... see you in the Speedwell.