Welcome to the first in a series of meet the brewery posts, I’m delighted to have Mark Welsby from The Runaway Brewery take the time to answer some questions about how they came about to running a successful brewery. I first experienced their beers at the Grub Winter festival hosted at the brewery.
What was your first brew & how did it go?
Pale Ale – brew day went surprisingly smoothly from what I remember. Perhaps ignorance was bliss?
What equipment did you use to begin with?
Our second hand, 5.5 bbl micro-brewery. Bought from Bespoke brewing in Gloucestershire, and upgraded by Willand Engineering to our specification.
How long have you been brewing before setting up the brewery?
Other than a couple of days helping out at other breweries, I’d never really brewed before we set up our little brewery.
What was the story behind you going into commercial brewing?
Having spent 15 years following the well trodden path – and ending up spending too long sat in an office – an old friend and I decided that the time had come to make a change – a leap faith – to do something more worthwhile. Something real. Something we would enjoy spending our days doing, & that would, in time, make a genuine change to something we’re both passionate about – beer and beer culture.
What batch size did you start with commercially?
What would you change if you could start over?
Bought a bigger brewery (say 10bbl) to free up more time for all the sales, deliveries and administration which its easy to underestimate.
Favourite beer brewed?
I dont have a favourite. But I’m most proud of our American Brown Ale.
Again, I don’t really do favourites, so much relies on the context of what I’m drinking (which for me is still the best test!). I do love a good rauchbier though.
Any tips for budding home brewers?
“For me, consistency is key. If you can learn to make the same beer consistently well, then you’ll know your process and equipment inside out. Then, innovating and experimenting is much easier to get right first time. Brewing is an art, but not without a good understanding of the science.
Equally, don’t feel constrained by definitions of what folk think beer should or shouldn’t be. The variety within a style is what keeps things interesting!”
Check out their range of beers, from first hand experience, they are great, I personally loved the Pale Ale!
Categories: Meet the Brewery