A Warwickshire entrepreneur who started experimental brewery in his garden shed during lockdown, is enjoying early success with his first premises.
Nathan Barnes outside his Leamington Spa taproom
Since walking away from his 30-year career in technology, Nathan Barnes has devoted himself to the BRUBL craft beer brewery and taproom full time. Today, from his fully-equipped premises in Leamington Spa, he produces 1,000 litres of beer at any one time.
The brand will soon also be found in cans on local shelves after Nathan took delivery of a state-of-the-art canning machine. This stands alongside his eight fermenters, a conditioning tank, and a ‘hop torpedo’.
And craft beer lovers from across the UK can now purchase BRUBL brews online following the launch of his new web shop this week.
Nathan’s enterprise began life as a home-built garden beer shed, The Crammed Inn, complete with four beer taps. He later went on to invest in some basic kit which enabled him to progress to brewing in 150-litre batches.
It soon became clear that he’d outgrown brewing in his garden. At the end of last year, he picked up the keys to a rental unit in the Old Town Railway Arches, and BRUBL was born.
“Little did I know that producing my first 20-litre homebrew in the summer of 2020 would lead to an obsession with learning to make the kind of craft beer I love to drink,” said 50-year-old Nathan.
“As lockdown eased, this meant that friends and family got to taste my beer for the first time, and it became evident that I was actually pretty good at it. Needless to say, I became a popular man to know!”
Now BRUBL has added eight of its ten beers to its online shop, ranging from the easy-drinking IPA, Highway to Hop (4.3% ABV), to the luxurious, deliciously dark Baltic Smoked Porter (7.6% ABV).
As part of his ambitious growth plans, Nathan hopes to get his brews into more pubs and restaurants across the local area. They can currently be found in Warwick Street Kitchen, Temperance, and The Boiler Room in Leamington Spa, and The Eagle in Warwick.
As BRUBL grows, Nathan is keen to do his bit for the ‘circular economy by re-using products and minimising waste. An arrangement with a nearby farmer means that local pigs now enjoy a tasty meal from the spent grain.
“The craft beer crowd is a welcoming one, and I hope BRUBL reflects that,” said Nathan. “A close second to the kick I get from developing a beer recipe and watching it come to fruition is the pleasure I get from seeing new friends bonding over it.
“Not many people get to completely change their lives by making their hobby their work. It’s taken a fair bit of graft and a bit of good luck, but now I just couldn’t be happier. It’s the best job in the world!”
BRUBL’s taproom is open to the public on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings, from 6pm-11pm. Find out more at brubl.beer/.
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