Ale drink to that - new brewery for Malmesbury
THE art of brewing is set to make a return to Malmesbury after more than 70 years.
Richard Auty and his wife Fiona are starting a microbrewery and are already developing their first ales.
“It is something we have been planning for some time. There is a history of brewing in Malmesbury and it is something we wanted to rekindle,” said Richard.
The couple have no experience in the craft – he works in telecoms and Fiona is a mechanical engineer in the electrical industry.
“I’ve spent many hours in judicious product research,” joked Richard. “We always fancied starting a business of some sort. It was really a case of what it was going to be. We thought we would give it a go and invest in Malmesbury at the same time.”
They have put themselves through a brewer’s training course and are hoping Malmesbury Brewery will produce its first Athelstan Ale before Christmas if they can find the right premises.
“What we wanted to do was set up in Malmesbury itself, but finding somewhere large enough that has the power and drainage we need has been difficult.”
They considered the Guild Hall, which closed as a pub earlier this year. But it was not large enough.
He explained that although there was lots of office space, buildings suitable for B1 and B2 industrial use were few and far between. Those that did become available were snapped up.
The couple are now looking at premises outside the town.
In the meantime they are developing their first three beers, including an IPA and a golden ale. “They’re getting pretty good,” said Richard. “There will be some fine turning in some of the flavours.”
Once the business is up and running they want to complete two brews a week, producing up to 40 casks each brew. They plan to keep their current day jobs but hope trade will take off, allowing them to employ up to 10 people in the future.