Feature: Beertorrent is bringing home brewing to the heart of Old Town in Leamington
Four men with a passion for making their own beer and teaching others how to do the same have carved out a niche for themselves in Leamington's Old Town.
Having worked in facilities management for many years, long-time Leamington resident Dave Reason was made redundant and decided he needed a change of direction.
He and his now business partner Rich Allen, both of whom already had a keen interest in home brewing, set up Beertorrent at a former electrical parts shop at 25a Clemens Street in June 2016.
The pair have since got Aston University’s senior lecturer and medical studies co-ordinator Dr Ray Carson on board as a director and former electronics engineer Bruce Kirby as the ‘technical expert’, and since then their ‘pico brewery’ - as Dave describes it - has been a part of the creation of almost 600 different beers.
The business operates across two sites with the shop - selling home brewing equipment and ingredients including more than 32 different varieties of hops - also having a brewing area in its basement where customers can create their own bespoke beer.
Larger groups can use the Beertorrent’s larger brewery located nearby at the Creative Railway Arches in Court Street.
This also serves as a tap room where people can pay to sample and drink various brews made by the business on Saturdays and Sundays.
Dave said: “When we started I wondered if this would all work.
“But we’re growing all the time and a lot of people are getting back into making craft beers again.
“I think the location has helped - we wouldn’t have been able to afford to set up north of the River [Leam] and here the customer base is very diverse with the larger student population in amongst permanent residents.”
Customers can come in and ask to recreate a specific type of beer they have tried and then be instructed how to do it either at home or by using the state of the art equipment on site.
If they do the latter they can then return after about a month to pick up their bespoke brew after the fermentation process is complete.
The team have hundreds of recipes on their list and are constantly adding more.
Customers make their own brews for weddings and other special occasions or make use of the facilities away from the difficulties of brewing at home.
Brewers using Beertorrent can pay as they go and newcomers can pay for a half day course.
Beertorrent also offers monthly memberships to those who wish to regularly use the business’s facilities.
Bruce said: “People have always been interested to know the origins of the beer they are drinking, where it is from and where it is being processed- you don’t often get that from a pub.
“Beer is essentially a simple thing to make and we aim to offer people to make good beer consistently.”
“We take a lot of pleasure from seeing people being able to equate what’s done when brewing to what they drink in our tap room.”
Beertorrent has been running events to celebrate Oktoberfest, serving speciality beers and traditional food at its tap room .
To contact the business with ideas or queries visit www.beertorrent.uk/contact or call 930937.