There are monsters in the Holme Valley, and they’re getting bigger...
Real ale aficionados will be delighted to hear that Holmfirth micro brewer Doug Scard is upscaling his operation.
A crowdfunding appeal pulled in £7,000, allowing him to expand his tiny back-room brewery Here Be Monsters to a new site in a mill in Holmebridge.
It’s the logical next step for the 45-year-old, who gave up a career as a web developer to pursue his love of beer.
Now he’s in the midst of rigging plumbing and installing a fermenter to increase his output with a deadline of February 2017 to recommence brewing.
“At the end of 2013 I realised that I needed to shake up the status quo. I needed to head into a different direction,” he said.
He sold his first bottle of beer in December 2014. Two years later his one-man-band approach has seen him brewing, delivering his beers, designing labels and artwork and living the ale-maker’s dream.
Crowd-funding the brewery gave him the freedom to meet his ambitions.
“I have not been blessed with a big windfall or inheritance. It’s always been a shoestring operation. I raised £7,000, which was sufficient to give me enough to start the upscale.
"I found premises in Holmebridge. To be able to say I’m based here helps me sell beer. I’m now in the throes of the installation.”
Previously working on a one-barrel system, Doug expects his expansion will see him jump to six barrels. His approach, he says, is softly-softly.
“When I get to the point when I can shift six barrels in a week I will get a second fermenter and start doubling up. I don’t have a desire to take over the world but to get to a point where I have something I could potentially retire with.”
He says the New Year will see more of the same – his trademark is full-bodied, heavily hopped ales, with a core range called ‘The Furies’ – plus “the odd unique beer or the first batch of a recipe I am trying to develop.”
He also brews a ‘Cyclops’ range of ales made with one hop variety.
“Most brewers tend to brew stuff that’s quite distinctive. It’s a vibrant, creative craft. I have not met anyone in the brewing community who is not completely lovely and welcoming. There’s not a lot of toe-treading, so there is room in the market for all of us.”