Founded in 1995, The Grainstore Brewery was formed through the collaboration of two friends: Tony Davis, formally Head Brewer and Production Director of Ruddles Brewery, and Mike Davies, Managing Director of Davro Fabrications.
Tony has had over thirty years experience in the brewing industry. After graduating form the Brewing School at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, he started his career as a Junior Brewer at Charles Wells Brewery in Bedford and eventually progressed to Production Director and Head Brewer at Ruddles Brewery, based in Langham, Rutland.
Mike had an engineering and steel fabrication background, a necessary qualification considering the complicated network of pipes, tanks, valves and cooling equipment that is found in a brewery.
For several years having driven daily past the derelict Victorian railway building on his way to work, the seed was planted in Tony’s mind that it would make an ideal for a small brewery and Tap room. The old building had originally been used for storage of grain from the surrounding farms and thence its onward dispatch by rail, but after a chequered history it had been boarded up and abandoned for about ten years. The opportunity arose when Tony left Ruddles after a series of take-overs and Mike had returned from an engineering foray into France, for the dream to come to fruition.
Having received the keys in January 1995, renovation began. The asbestos roof was removed by specialists and the building re-roofed. New doors and windows, in keeping with the original building, were fitted and hundreds of years worth of whitewash and dirt were blasted off the internal walls to reveal the original stone and brickwork.
The old three storey building offered the potential of becoming and ideal traditional tower brew house with raw materials being taken to the top and finished beer emerging from the bottom, all through the natural gift of gravity. This principle was employed in the design and layout of the brewing equipment.
Following renovation of the building, sourcing, modification and positioning of the brewing plant within the top two floors, the brewery tap on the ground floor was furnished and opened its doors for business in September 1995. The 15 barrel brew house (50 x 11 gallon casks), turned out its first brew of “Cooking” two months later.
Now passed to Tony’s son William and his business partner Peter Atkinson to echo the past, the brewery continues to build on its strengths brewing traditional English Ales and supplying hundreds of free trade outlets as well as wholesalers and beer festivals nationwide.