Wednesday, May 21, 2014

A tribute to "the nicest man in brewing"

Simon Bolderson  and wife Sally. Picture c/o Sam Parker
This is a tribute to Ridgeside Brewery's Simon Bolderson who died on Saturday aged just 46.
It's been sent to us from Leeds CAMRA vice chair and beer writer Sam Parker, who has shared his memories of the "nicest man in brewing".

Born and raised in Yorkshire Simon studied engineering at Huddersfield University. After a very successful career in that industry Simon took redundancy in 2009 and an interest in homebrewing led him to establish Ridgeside Brewing Company in 2010. Helped by his family and fellow homebrewing friend Dean, Simon designed and built his 4bbl brewery himself (using Hartley's jam tanks amongst other things) and the brewery was opened that year in Meanwood by former chair of the British Guild of Beer Writers' Barrie Pepper. 
Since then the brewery has gone from strength to strength satisfying local drinkers as well as winning many plaudits including a CAMRA Gold award. Besides its flavoursome ales the brewery is well known for it's community involvement, supplying a house ale to the local Myrtle pub and supporting the campaign to save the Templar Hotel with a beer of the same name, and in partnership with The Junction Inn, Castleford, has done a lot to promote beer served from the wood.
Diagnosed with a brain tumour in December 2012 Simon lost his brave battle on Saturday, May 17 peacefully at St Gemma's Hospice, Leeds.
Sam Parker, beer writer and Leeds CAMRA vice chair, remembers Simon as the "nicest man in brewing". 
He said: "There was never a dull moment when you were around Simon and he always had time for you no matter how busy he was. The city has not just lost a skilled engineer and brewer but a genuinely selfless and humble man that I was rightly proud to call my friend".
Simon is survived by wife Sally and three children.
The funeral is to be held at Lawnswood Crematorium Friday May 30 at 1pm, followed by a celebration of his life at Myrtle Tavern, Meanwood.
RIP Simon Bolderson September 12, 1967 - May 17, 2014.

Please note: The mildfest at The Templar Hotel on Tuesday, May 27 will be raising money for St Gemma's Hospice and is the first I'm sure of many events to be celebrating the life and work of Simon.
The event starts at 7.30pm at the pub, which is off Vicar Lane, Leeds.


Rob Derbyshire said...

I met Simon once at the Northern Home and Craft Brewers meet-up at Saltaire Brewery 2 years ago. After I'd finished my stint judging for the day I headed upstairs for the voting on best cask of the day. The cask beers had been brewed by a number of homebrewers including myself. As people thrust their hands into the air in favour of their favourite Simon's hand was held high with a vote for my beer "C-Bomb". Becuase I recognised him as a pro brewer I said thanks and that lead to a conversation that lasted about 5 hours. Simon was so impressed with my beer that he kindly offered to brew it at Ridgeside. Sadly the hops I used were avilable so nothing came of it. I spent the rest of the afternoon with Simon and a friend of his from the brewery.
He was such a friendly and welcoming guy and will be sorely missed. His fantastic beer will linger long on my tastebuds and in my memory.

Ale Ambler said...

Thanks very much for your comment, Rob.
I didn't have the privilege of meeting Simon but I've enjoyed drinking his beers in fine places like The Junction & The Templar.

Anonymous said...

Simon will never be forgotten.
What would St. Peter make of Black Knight and Thunderstruck? Simon's probably started a heavenly brew already!
Thanks to simon for helping start the Irish connection,
Tom H