A Warwickshire entrepreneur who left the rat race during lockdown to start an experimental brewery in his garden shed, is enjoying early success with his first premises and new online shop and canning facility.
Since walking away from his 30-year career in technology, Nathan Barnes has devoted himself to BRUBL craft beer brewery and tap room full time.
Today, from his fully-equipped premises, in The Old Town Railway Arches in Leamington, he produces a thousand litres of beer at any one time.
The brand will soon also be found in cans on local shelves after Nathan recently took delivery of a new state-of-the-art canning machine, which sits alongside his eight fermenters, a conditioning tank and a space age ‘hop torpedo.’
And craft ale lovers from across the UK can now purchase BRUBL beers 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 and flashing lights. 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 and, 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.
Nathan, 50, said: “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.
“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. And, as part of his ambitious growth plans, Nathan hopes to get his brew into more pubs and restaurants across the area. It can currently be found in Warwick Street Kitchen, Temperance and The Boiler Room in Leamington and The Eagle in Warwick.
But, not one for standing still, Nathan is developing new brews all the time, the most successful of which will earn places on the BRUBL taps.
As BRUBL grows, Nathan is also keen to do his bit for the ‘circular economy’ by re-using product and minimising waste – and an arrangement with a nearby farmer means that local pigs now enjoy a tasty meal from all the spent grain that is the by-product of the brewing process.
Nathan added: “The craft beer crowd is a welcoming one and I hope BRUBL reflects that. 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 tap room is now open to the public Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings 6-11pm. Visit here