Harbour Brewing Company has been officially launched on a farm site a couple of miles outside of Bodmin, in Cornwall, operating on ten-barrel, American-designed plant.
Business partners Eddie Lofthouse and brewer Rhys Powell hatched their plan to open a new brewery having met in a pub in Padstow. Rhys, originally from South Wales, is a Heriot Watt trained brewer who had been working at Sharp’s, in North Cornwall. Eddie has experience in hospitality, having run the family business, The Atlantic Hotel and Doom Bar in New Polzeath, on the North Cornwall coast.
“It seemed a good idea to name ourselves after the place where the idea was conceived, and Harbour Brewing Company was born,” said Eddie.
The business is on the craft brewery model, with cask, keg and bottled beers destined to form part of the range. “We are committed to making beers that are contemporary and deliver an uncompromising taste experience,” said Eddie. “We use pure Cornish spring water sourced on the hillside next to the brewery, and only the finest raw materials. We believe this is the only way to deliver a premium, quality product.
“We produce beers in cask, keg and bottle as we think different beers lend themselves to different styles of dispense. We apply a progressive and innovative approach in both brewing style and beer technique, while honouring traditional proven methods. Using this approach we aim to produce a range of full flavoured, balanced and creative beers.”
The brewery has cost between £200 and £300,000 to set up, with the money coming entirely from private investment. The brewery is grateful to fellow brewers Steve Skinner, of Skinner’s, Chris Hearn, at Loddon, and Adam Komower, at Andwell, for their help and advice.
Rhys said: “We chose a combined mash lauter tun, rather than a separate mash tun and a lauter tun, as it gives us all-round flexibility with process control and use of adjuncts. It’s more efficient than a traditional British set-up. We’ve also gone for sealed cylindroconical fermentation vessels rather than traditional open vessels as it is more hygienic, allows faster fermentation and ease of yeast harvesting.”
Inspiration has come from the likes of Kernel and Redemption Brewery in London, BrewDog in Scotland and Mikkeller in Denmark. The aim is to sell in Cornwall initially — beer is going on next month in the Mason’s Arms, in Bodmin — but outlets in London are also being targeted.
Eddie sums up the ethos of the business by saying: “Mass market, bland beer aimed at gaining a market share is not what we are all about. We are all about taste and creativity. Beers from all over the world inspire us. The craft beer scene in the USA is an obvious place to draw inspiration and ideas, but there are great breweries and beers from all over the world.”
There will be four beers in the initial range: India Pale Ale (5% ABV in cask, 5.4% in bottle), with six British and American hop varieties; Amber Ale (4%, or 4.5% in bottle), a malt-driven, easy drinking ale; Light Ale (3.5%), light in colour and ABV but with plenty of hoppy flavour; and Lager (5%, 5.2% in bottle), Cezch-inspired, Pilsner-style lager.