This year is set to see the fruition of a long-held ambition to open a new brewery in an ancient priory barn at West Acre.
Founders of the Duration Brewing Company husband-and-wife team Derek Bates and Miranda Hudson, are hoping that the project will be up and running by late summer.
The plan is to transform a 16th century stone barn at Abbey Farm on the West Acre Estate into a brewery, which is due to create around 22 new jobs over the next five years. The barn will be known as The River and will house conditioning tanks and a canning line.
Planning permission was approved in September and now news is awaited on the outcome of an application for grant funding.
Said Miranda: “Ultimately, we want to set up a production facility and distribute beer with a regional and UK focus for both on and off-site sales.
“The build out can officially start once we hear about the application. It’s 15 per cent of our start-up budget so we need it to make the last piece in the financial jigsaw. The site will need a good six months to turn from being ‘a big pigeon coop’ into a ‘state-of-the-art’ brew house.”
She also said that they wanted to offer apprenticeships and education in beer to help industry growth locally. “We will support the region’s local nurseries and other small producers too,” she said.
Locally-grown grain and water from the River Nar will be used in the brewing process.
Derek has extensive brewing knowledge and they have already released beers in collaboration with friends who brew commerically.