A popular Staffordshire Moorlands pub is set to become home to growing local business Rural Brewing Co, established by local resident Rob Goodley.
Brewer Rob Goodley (left) outside the proposed site of Rural Brewing Co with Tom Wilkinson, of the White Hart Commnity Interest Company
Plans have been unveiled to transform outbuildings at Alton’s historic White Hart into a brewery with a capacity to brew up to 2,000 litres of beer every three weeks.
Local residents will be able to see the brewery plans at the launch of Rural Brew IPA, at the historic High Street inn, on Saturday (10th September), at 6pm.
A planning application for change of use of the outbuildings is scheduled to go before Staffordshire Moorlands District Council in October. The White Hart will invest in the fabric of the building, while Rural Brewing Co is kitting out the brewery, which will have around 90 sq m of indoor space.
“We’re planning to have a glass-fronted brewhouse, providing great beer and doubling as a feature for visitors to the pub,” said Tom Wilkinson, chair of the White Hart Community Interest Company. “Rob’s beers are excellent and he has a business plan which means he needs room to grow.
“We see the project as a real positive for the White Hart and for Alton, and there’s an added bonus in backing a local Alton resident with his business plans.”
How the new brewhouse would look
Rob, 32, started out as a home brewer and now has a microbrewery in the garage at his home. He perfects his beer recipes and test brews at home but, because of the lack of brewing capacity, contracts out beer production.
His first larger brew was ready for the recent Queen’s Platinum Jubilee weekend and there are cans available via the company website. He has produced a pale ale, a best bitter, and the IPA launching this week. It will be available on draught and in kegs and cans.
The IPA is a 6.8% ABV American-style brew, described by Rob as packing a punch, with stone fruit aromas intermingling with a clean, crisp malt finish.
Rob said: “It’s fantastic to get this opportunity to create Rural Brew in my home village. Local beer lovers have helped me to kick-start my brewery by getting involved in taste tests, and Rural Brew pale ale has been available in cans from the White Hart all summer.”
Rob has been mentored by established brewers and has been given expert business advice by locally-based entrepreneur and investor Nick Conway.
The White Hart was bought was bought by Alton villagers after being put up for sale by pub chain Marston’s in 2014. There are more than 70 shareholders in the White Hart Community Interest Company , which owns the pub and neighbouring allotments.