What's the big idea?!
Where it all began, and where we're going!
Our wonderful brewery that many of you know and love was first set up in 2016 after months and months of hard work converting an old barn into a fully functional business.......
Our wonderful brewery that many of you know and love was first set up in 2016 after months and months of hard work converting an old barn into a fully functional business.
The equipment we started out with was made out of parts bought off of good ole’ Ebay. We purchased all the parts for a 750 litre brew kit separately and had a plumber help us to assemble it. It consisted of just two fermenters which can hold a maximum of 750 litres each meaning we could brew about 1500 litres every 14 days.
When we first got started we were operating off of extension leads from the house where the barn conversion is, which kept blowing the power which was an absolute nightmare. It meant that a brew that would normally take around 8 hours was taking anywhere between 16-18 hours.
However, with enough will and determination (and 7am starts) we finally completed our first brew in October of 2016 - Wild Spice - which we still produce now for the festive period - though it is now known as Wild Winter.
During lockdown we were able to invest in some new equipment so we upgraded to three new 1500 litre fermenters and two 1500 litre brite tanks (brite tanks are used for the preparation of packaging our beer). The new fermenters meant we were able to brew over two consecutive days, and we currently brew around four times a week creating around 3000 litres of beer.
Even though we were able to replace some of our equipment, to this day we are still using the OG 750 litre brew kit we bought off Ebay - and she’s SO ready to retire.
What's the big idea?
When Wildcraft Brewery first started up, we had big dreams of being a sustainable business by being able to use renewable power, recycle all our water through reedbed systems and use ingredients that are as local as possible. Due to a combination of time, money and space we haven't been able to realise as much of this dream as we’d like to. We also found that the size and space we have here at the Brewery, whilst we all love it, would not allow us to achieve as much as we’d like to in terms of beer production and being able to welcome members of the public here.
For the last four years we have been lucky enough to work closely with Worstead Farms to be able to recycle our spent grains to be used for feed for their Wagyu Cattle herd. We got talking to them and realised they shared the same ethos and sustainability goals as us. They suggested that there may be somewhere on site that we could potentially move into - Mike went to have a look at the site and discovered it was ‘pretty much amazing’. Coupled with help from Norfolk County Council, we were able to get a 'DRIVE' grant from the European Regional Development Fund which has enabled the dream to become a reality.
Introducing our next chapter.
Where we are at the moment has around 900sq ft for us to work within, plus 750sq ft of storage and parking for 3-4 vehicles. Our new site has a whopping 3000sq ft with 1500sq ft of storage for us to use, and we have a car park too which is something we feel we desperately need to be able to move forward the way we would like to.
We also have access to a fantastic 5 acre field which we can use for events and beer festivals. The field itself is a stubble field, where the stubble remains from barley grown specifically for us to brew with.
But What Does It Mean?!
Due to the increase in workspace size, this will enable us to go from brewing 3000 litres a week to an incredible 8500 litres a week! We have two new 2000 litre fermenters meaning we can increase our brew capacity from 750 litres a day to 2000 litres a day.
We are already looking at our options for being able to use solar and wind power for our business and we have a reedbed system for recycling our water agreed by the farm too.
We are all so excited here at Wildcraft to be getting closer to achieving our dream of being sustainable, ethically responsible and maintaining an even smaller carbon footprint, whilst being able to create some incredible beers that as always are vegan and gluten free.
None of this would have been possible without the support of our wonderful customers, friends, subscribers, readers and sponsors.
We are truly thankful for you all.
If you want to know more about our move, make sure you have subscribed to our newsletter to get updates and follow us on our journey to the new venue and for all our latest offers, discounts, events and products.
Feel free to take a sneak peek at the gallery below with pictures of our new building!
We can’t wait to see you all there!!!!