How do Sheffield home brewers take the next beer step?
I know about drinking the stuff, but don’t ask me how it’s actually made.
Clearly, however, lots of beer enthusiasts do. Certainly judging by the explosion in small, independent craft breweries over the past decade. But that’s only half the story. There’s an entire cottage industry just beneath the surface.
Home kit enthusiasts, or ‘nanobreweries’ usually run from someone’s garage or shed, either as a labour of love, or for small-scale supply to local pubs and shops.
But how do these home brewers take the next step and turn a hobby into a business? This is where ‘Brew School’ comes in.
The Bakewell-based training company has course on every aspect of beer production.
There are classes for newbies who are just starting out brewing for their own pleasure to more established brewers looking to turn their skills into a viable career.
I went along to one of their classes, run by Tim Boothman, founder of Chapel-en-le-Frith Brewing Company and Marc Williamson who owns Linear Brewing Company in Nottinghamshire.
Both men started from scratch. Tim was at a craft beer festival in 2014 and found himself wondering ‘How hard can it be?’
So he set up for himself.
‘We still have to do everything a big brewery does,’ he explains. ‘Brewing the beer, sales, marketing. It certainly builds a skill set!’ He hasn’t looked back since.
The challenge is a happy one though – deciding how big you want to get once you get a name for producing decent beer.
‘Do you want a hobby that wipes its feet and makes a bit of money, or do you want to go bigger,’ explains Tim.
He is also the local postmaster in his village and combines his day job with his expanding brewery.
‘It was appealing to us because of our situations,’ says Marc, who started with an advantage working in the food production industry and was an expert on yeast.
‘The kit doesn’t take up a lot of space and it’s a hobby that has self-funded itself. Its not putting anything at risk.’
For more information on the brilliant range of course available, check out
For beer lovers already thinking about Christmas, Pangolin Craft Beer in Hillsborough is hosting a festive market on December 5 as part of their popular events schedule.
Visit their Facebook page for more details.