Get out the bunting and best china, our funding from Central Government has finally arrived! The past few anxious months have passed and now it’s all systems go on Sandown High Street to create a brewery, install our 75 litre brew kit, create a bar, kitchen, shop and museum.
To be fair, although the project is behind our original schedule, having the extra time to visit breweries and speak to the industry has enabled us to refine and hone our plans, making it a better project. We’ve recently been to Burton upon Trent (of course), Magic Rock in Huddersfield, Thornbridge in Buxton, Vibrant Forest in Hythe (3 times, we like it there), Tiny Rebel in Newport (Wales), Hillside in Gloucestershire, Purity in Alcester, Unity in Southampton and Mad Dog Brewery in Abergavenny. Our most recent foray was to the Charles Faram annual Hop Walk and we managed to get our hands on some fine tasting hops to try. Also, a few trips to micro pubs to check out cellaring options, bar set up beer choices, glasses and prices. It’s all very thirsty work I can tell you!
Repurposing a Victorian shop into a brewery is not without its challenges, drains, water and electrics not being in ideal locations, relaying the floor, not having a cellar and ventilation have all needed detailed plans – sometimes even trial and error! We can see why industrial estates are so attractive to new breweries. However faint heart never won fair pint, so we have pushed through these difficulties to create a unique offering to help regenerate Sandown.
When we open our customers will be able to view the brewery as they sup, through the glass panels and gaze lovingly at the stainless steel glory of our HLT, Mash Tun, Copper and Fermenters. All of our set up equipment has been ordered from America through a UK company that have just started to import the BrewMagic system. Boojum will be the first commercial all electric BrewMagic in the UK and we are being given excellent advice and assistance. They will deliver, set up and get the first brew put through, just to ensure everything is hunky dory. That’s what we call service!
Of course it’s all about the beer and we are getting our water tested so we can adjust the minerals etc for specific beer types and we can also access an island spring for special brews. We also will be using some locally sourced botanicals and flavours to offer a unique taste and sense of place. We want to celebrate the island through our beer, food and culture on offer.
For those of you visiting us for Beer and Buses, expect some brilliant guest beers from some of our favourite breweries. We’ll have you spellbound by the story telling, delicious beer and local food we’ll have on all weekend. We’ve a few surprises up our sleeve too…..