Some of you might remember that I previously wrote an article about Richard Kruller and his plans to set up a new craft brewery in the Cambridge area. (Use this link to see the original article http://www.craftbeeradvocate.co.uk/craft-beer/steadfast-brewing-co. ) Well it is now about 6 months further down the line and I thought it would be a good idea to check in and see what progress has been made on turning this dream into a reality.
As some of the more regular readers will remember I have previously written an article about Steadfast Brewing Co. and their plans to create a new craft brewery in the Cambridge area. At the time of the original article the progress made was predominantly on setting up the company and getting some ideas in place which could then drive the strategy for the creation of the brewery. At the same time there was a reasonable amount of searching for the appropriate staff who could help make this dream a reality as well as seeking investment to get themselves off the ground and into a facility. So what is the outlook now and what progress has been made?
After meeting Richard and some of his trusted crew I can certainly see the dream becoming much more of a reality. I was lucky enough to get an inside look on the plans for the brewery which is going to include a 5bbl boil kettle and three closed and one open fermentor which will enable the brewer to have free reign to explore a number of different styles throughout their first year with the aim of creating a core range of 4-6 beers which will be regularly produced throughout the year. Their reasons for starting with a 5bbl size brewery, powered by steam, iare that although it is recognised that they might outgrow this production volume pretty quickly, they believe this is the best size to begin with as it is better suited to experimentation and quality control before they ultimately aim to brew on a larger scale. With this set up they believe that they can theoretically brew twice a day provided they have enough vessels to put the resulting liquor into which means that on a 5bbl system they can produce some pretty large quantities before they exhaust the brewer and associated crew.
Richard and Co. have spent a lot of time looking at how they are going to package their beer for consumers and they have decided upon initially focusing on cans and kegs as this will enable them to have a greater control on the quality and consistency of the product as well as making their beer much easier to store, transport and quicker to chill. They have also decided that the full light protection of a can is something they require to ensure that their beer reaches customers in the best quality possible. Through the use of kegs they will also be able to access a market of venues which don't have a cellar and the appropriately trained staff. This isn't to say that they won't be producing cask beer in the future, just that it isn't the focus at the start of the brewery's life.
As for the location they are still searching for the perfect place for their new home, and despite not yet having a building agreed upon they do have some locations in mind and are actively scouring the areas for the best place for them to set up in. One of their key priorities is that the brewery must be big enough to allow them to scale up and avoid having to move early in the brewery's life as this will avoid some potentially costly expenses which they might not have foreseen. A key aspect of their building will be the creation of a tap room as they want people to be able to not just taste the beer but to come and see the beating heart of the operation and to be able to gain a greater appreciation for how the beer is produced and the efforts that the team will be going to, to ensure it is of the highest quality possible.
After talking to Richard and the others several things become immediately obvious, they are definitely making progress and are trying to plan everything as thoroughly as possible to try and make the transition and build as smooth as possible. They are putting quality at the front of the line in everything they do as they want their beer to stand out from the crowd and they are also fiercely passionate about what they are doing. Everyone is pulling in the same direction and they all want to make this venture as successful as possible. I'm really looking forward to catching up with Richard again in the near future to see how things continue to progress with Steadfast Brewing Co. and if there is anything you want to know for next time, put it in the comments section below.
You can follow Steadfast Brewing Co on twitter by searching @steadbrew