The UK’s first “do it yourself” brewery has launched in Edinburgh, offering beer lovers the chance to whip up their own personalised tipple.
Amateur brewers can walk away with top-quality Krafty Brew beer at just £1 per bottle – as long as they have room in the boot for 100 bottles.
Krafty Brew owner Marcus Doherty hopes the experience will attract ale aficionados, stag parties and office bashes to sampling sessions at its Leith-based outlet.
Everything needed to create 50 litres of amber nectar is included in the price – from hops and grain to fruit and flavourings, along with the handy expertise of two professional brewers.
But patience is the one ingredient punters need in abundance, as it takes roughly two weeks for the beer to ferment.
Mr Doherty hit upon the concept after growing frustrated with the quality of grog available in bars and the mess created whenever he made his own home brew.
“I suppose I was just getting sick of all the mediocre beers out there and getting a taste of some of the craft beers that were coming over from America, but also some of the small microbreweries in London that are setting standard,” he said.
“The easiest way to get that kind of standard is either spending a lot of money, or brewing it yourself at home. Doing it yourself involves a lot of hassle, clutter and cleaning, so I thought surely a lot of other people would want the opportunity to create their own beer without that hassle.”
Despite only learning the secrets of brewing one year ago, Mr Doherty is now the owner of a 1500-litre-a-week microbrewery, housed in an industrial unit at Stewartfield, Leith.
He said: “You come in and we have a menu of beers, all the way from very light Pilsner beers through to dark, chocolatey stouts. We also have a range of hoppy IPAs.
“You can get as creative as you like. You could have a chili beer, or we’ve added oak chips soaked in bourbon to an American amber and that’s quite nice. People are perfectly welcome to bring their own ingredients and follow their own recipes, too. It’s a very hands-on process.”
Mr Doherty already has a couple of city bars signed up to make their own signature beer, and he hopes restaurants will want to brew beers to complement their dishes.
Employees from accounting firm Steedmans, who backed the venture, were some of the first customers. “We’re proud to support such an innovative project – and the beer’s excellent, too,” said operations director Jason Steedman.
From Paris’s pint of view . .
Reporter Paris Gourtsoyannis gives his verdict on Krafty Brew’s creations:
As well as helping customers concoct their own beer, Krafty Brew’s brewers have created tipples for punters to sample as they mix their raw ingredients. The brown ale (5.6%) boasts a ruby hue bursting with a hoppy, rich and vegetal flavour. The stout (6.1%) is light and understated with a honeyed flavour. You could easily sink three pints before you knew it. Krafty Brew has an IPA made with citrus hops (5.1%) that is perfect for the hot weather, and the menu also includes a robust but refreshing Pilsner IPA (5.4%), and a dark amber ale (5.5%) that is fruity, hoppy and delicious.