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How it all Started
In 2015, Mike met Mark in the crazy world of an online game called Clash of Clans. It transpired they both shared an unfortunate love for Norwich City Football Club and decided to meet after the match in a lovely brewpub called The Coach and Horses.
It was here that Mike explained his dream of having his own brewery where beers were made with foraged ingredients and flavours were experimented with, but several things were getting in the way that would stop this from ever being a reality.
After a few pints, the two went their own ways, knowing they had forged a new friendship but with no idea what was going to come next.
It only took a week or so for Mark to give Mike a call with the now famous words, ‘That premises you want, how big does it need to be?’.
Raising the Roof
The rest is history as Mark introduced Mike to a messy but quaint barn at the back of his parents property that just so happened to be exactly the size Mike had in mind. They got thinking fast and worked out that with Marks practical knowledge and Mikes brewing knowhow, they could convert this barn and make it into the brewery that they now both dreamed of. But how could they afford it? The simple answer is that they couldn’t! So, in early 2016, a crowdfunding campaign was set up to raise the initial amount of money needed to start converting the barn and as this progressed they met several people interested in investing in the business…
The Crowdfunding went really well with £20k being raised and an extra amount came in from investors, some of whom were happy to fund the business and watch it grow, while 2 in particular added expertise to what we were doing. By late July, Mike had left teaching to become the sole employee and everyone rallied around to get the barn converted, car park laid and cold rooms built.
And into the Future
Wildcraft launched its first brew in November of 2016 which sold well and received great feedback. They have since created 13 different brews which have been well received.
in 2017, Mike and Mark invited one of the first investors to join them as a director. Glenn had been at the brewery a lot, working on the fabric of the building and adding an extra string to their bow by bringing in and converting his Shepherd Hut to use as a mobile bar. This is now available to hire and often goes out to events, weddings and private functions.
The future? Mike, Mark and Glenn are working hard to come up with new ideas for great beers while adding to the infrastructure to make those we have even better. The brewery is already looking to expand into a second barn and Brewbacca is going viral… We are looking forward to 2018!
Why not pop down and see what we are all about. A talk and tasting at the brewery. Find out more about the story of Wildcraft, how we came into being and how we brew our beers. Enjoy some drinks while you listen…