In place of pouring you a drink I’ll start with a few words about where we’re up to as we work towards launching our new brewery.
This all started over a year ago when I came back from my second Copenhagen Beer Celebration with a burning desire to get involved in, and contribute to Manchester’s growing specialist beer scene. I started looking for properties for a new venture but before long my attention switched from a beautiful building in Ancoats to a fantastic opportunity to partner with a chap I consider to be one of the UK’s finest brewers.
Weeks of searching for a unit led us to months of negotiation and working on plans for an archway, which ended up falling through days before signing a lease. What a pain.
Back on the phone, the internet, and hours driving round industrial estates at all hours to gauge the local area and we settled our interest on a new site. In the months since we’ve been working our way through more finely detailed negotiations with our prospective landlord than I ever could have imagined. Thankfully, I think we’re getting there, and the encouragement that we’ve had from Manchester City Council’s Planning department, Greater Manchester Police, and the businesses around our potential site look to be bearing fruit.
There’s still a few formalities to complete, so I’m afraid that it is still too early to reveal where we will be setting up, but I’ll let you know as soon as I can.
Back in May when things looked solid for the archway we ordered our brewhouse – a 2400L Premier Stainless Systems brewery with lauter tun, six 4800L fermenters, two 2400L fermenters, and a conditioning tank in each size too. We’d spent months looking at UK based manufacturers such as Olympus, Malrex and Moeschle, as well as Simatec’s Italian Tondelli kits. On balance, we’re not only getting better value for money with Premier, but we’re also getting a kit that should give us more flexibility than any similarly sized and priced alternative. What this means is that we should be able to make any of the styles of beer we’d like to, without any unfortunate compromises from a system that leans more towards one tradition (say ale) over another (say lager).
There’s now four of us in the team, James Campbell is our head brewer and co-founder, William France is heading up operations, Al Wall is taking care of production, and I’ll be doing everything I can to steer us in the most exciting direction possible. We’ve all got different tastes, but importantly, I think we’ve all got good taste, and our differing passions and preferences will become a great and vital asset.