Welcome to to the 2nd post in the meet the brewery series, this time round thanks to Shane Swindells, Northern Craft Brewer and Owner of The Cheshire Brewhouse who has kinldy taken the time to answer the questions.
I first tried a beer from Cheshire Brewhouse back in 2014 when I won a box of ales in a Twitter competition, this turned out to be a rare beer, Stormy Point I also had Lupy as a Toucan in the same box:
— Paul Delaney (@DelaneyPaul) March 22, 2014
What was your first brew & how did it go?
My first brew was a Boots canned Stout in about 1987, and from memory it was bloody awful, but I was very happy with it. My first All Grain brew was 11 years ago, and was a strong bitter, coming in at about 5.5% and was fantastic from memory. Light years away from what I’m making now, as it was really all a bit slap dash, but your first AG brew is always your best one!
What equipment did you use to begin with?
Initially just a kettle and a plastic fermenting bin. which then became a plastic converted coolbox (mashtun) a plastic bucket with an element in it, and several other plastic fermenting bins, once I started to AG brew. I then built a 200Ltr Stainless steel 3 vessel brewery complete with a plastic 200ltr conical.
How long have you been brewing before setting up the brewery?
I was all grain brewing for 7 years before I set up the brewery.
What was the story behind you going into commercial brewing?
I started working as an engineer at Molson Coors Burton Brewery, & the sights and smells, & the heartbeat of the brewery itself. Awoke a passion for beer in me that i couldn’t shake off. I initially started to brew so I could understand the process better, (in order to help me problem solve & diagnose faults in the brewery, as the microbiology messes with logical things). I found that brewing was consuming my spare time & I’ve moved to where I am today as a result of trying to expand my knowledge.
What batch size did you start with commercially?
I initially brewed 760ltrs per batch
What would you change if you could start over?
The time I started, I wish I had done it 2-3 years earlier.
Thanks for your time Shane!