Micro- Brewing and Keeping it Small…

I love being a small business, ok it can be tough, you have got to have real discipline and perseverance… but at then end of it (hopefully) you reap the rewards that you sow. It gives me great pleasure when someone tells me ‘i love that’, because they are responding to something i contemplated, developed and then created and the money that i make from that seems to hold more worth in my hand…specially knowing that along the way there have also been doubts, hair pulling and crazy nights working way past the midnight hours. As a small business i like to spend my small pennies that i make on other small business’s …I believe that much care goes into products produced on the small-scale and hey we’ve all got to support each other for us to be able to survive in a world where things are increasingly being mass made often without care for the workers that made them or the person that buys them.

Today I’m going to talk about micro breweries. I grew up in a pub on the edge of the peak district – The Peels Arms in Padfield – go check it out if you are in the area. So i grew up with the smell of hops in my hair..but if i’m honest i didn’t really see the appeal of it all until a later age on being introduced to some craft breweries in Belgium.

Apparently pubs are closing at a rate of 50 per week but in contrast to this the number of breweries in the UK has increased four-fold over the past 30 years (CAMRA). So why is this? Good Beer Guide editor Roger Protz states: “The real ale revolution goes on in spite of all the problems facing the brewing industry such as the often anti-competitive behaviour of the large pub companies, the heavy and continuing rise in tax on beer, grossly unfair competition from supermarkets, and the smoking ban in pubs. “Yet, against all the odds, craft breweries continue to sprout like mushrooms at dawn. The main reason is a simple one – craft brewers are responding to genuine consumer demand.” “Beer in pubs may be expensive compared to cheap supermarkets but drinkers are prepared to pay a bit extra for beer with taste and quality.”

I may be wrong, but at the moment there are about fifteen micro breweries in Cornwall. Check out this page to get more information. On the opening of a new pub in my hometown of Penryn I was really pleased to find out that a new micro- brewery operation had started just up the road from my house – The Rebel Brewing Company – brilliant!  I had  a quick interview with Rob Lowe the owner about his company…

Can you give me a some background on how the Rebel Brewing Co – came into existence? It was originally founded in 2009 by Henry Austwick who comes from a brewing family in Wales. In 2010 I (Rob Lowe) came onboard as the brewer and manager. We did some trial brews throughout 2010/11 and finally in September 2011 we got the current brew kit installed and started producing our range of ales.

The Rebel name came about through a combination of Penryn’s rebellious history (two rebellions have marched on London from here during the 1500’s) and the fact that I am determined to do things differently to your average microbrewery.

(YOU CAN READ ABOUT ONE OF CORNWALL’S REBELLIONS – THE PRAYER BOOK REBELLION HERE)

So whats the appeal of setting up a microbrewery? It is not just the joy of making and drinking your own beer but also having hundreds/thousands of people drink it too and enjoy it. It is somewhat of a cliche in the brewing world but there is a lot of bad beerout there and I am passionate about producing a far better alternative. It is very hardwork but it is also fun!
Can you tell us something about the beers that you brew and any future directions of potential beers in the future? We currently have a range of 4 real ales which we sell in cask and bottle to pubs and bottle shops all over the country. We also have a range of unusual and interesting world beers such as our chocolate wheat beer “Nightshade” and our belgian style spiced beer called “Managh” (Cornish for monk). There are dozens more in the pipeline such as fruit beers, double IPA’s and a barley wine. We are determined to produce an eclectic range of incredibley tasty beers ranging from 2% to 15% ABV and packaged in unusual ways… watch this space!
You are based in Penryn, how does this work for you..have you got any facts or stories of penryn to share? We love being in Penryn, we are close to all of the main transport routes in and out of the town and county while being slightly out of the hustle and bustle of Falmouth. We are hoping to move to another larger site in Penryn soon.
Penryn
Pubs are closing at a rate of about 50 per week, where do you see yourself in this picture? Many pubs are closing but those which look after their cask ales and provide great service are booming, those that don’t unfortunately close. We don’t just sell to pubs but to restaurants, clubs, bars and direct to the public from our retail counter.
You seem (i hope) to be forging ahead successfully, can you recommend any other small and upcoming businesses within cornwall? There are so many! The future is with small, hardworking businesses that offer superior, personal service and there are dozens within 3-4miles of the brewery, too many to name!
How can we buy / consume your lovely beer? You can come and buy it direct from the brewery! We’re on West End Ind Estate in Penryn, just next to the train station. We sell bottles, gift packs, 4 pint jugs, 18pint polypins and 36 pint casks.

Otherwise head to: The Thirsty Scholar & No20 in Penryn or The Front, Star & Garter, The Boathouse, The Townhouse, Olivers Restaurant or Provedore in Falmouth.

Proverdore, Falmouth

The Falmouth TownHouse.

Well I hope that has introduced you to a new and upcoming business in Penryn. I’m really proud of living here and the creative and entrepreneral spirit of my fellow ‘ryners’.

Hope you enjoyed reading and if you live local or visiting go and check out the Rebel Brewing Company!

Cheers – keri – Humble Cottage x

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6 comments

  1. […] Micro- Brewing and Keeping it Small… (humblecottageblog.wordpress.com) 37.398730 -122.071465 Rate this:Share this:EmailDiggTumblrRedditFacebookLinkedInTwitterStumbleUponPrintPinterestLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. This entry was posted in Biotech, Clean tech, Design DIY, Digital strategy, E-Commerce, Ethnographics and tagged Boston Globe, Brewery, Business and Economy, Canton, Microbrewery, New York City, Samuel Adams by timbatchelder. Bookmark the permalink. […]

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