Fownes Brewing has made its big move to a bigger brewery at Two Woods Estate, Talbots Lane, Brierley Hill. The brewery, that was created by brothers James and Tom Fownes back in late 2010 has been brewing behind The Jolly Crispin pub in Dudley since 2012.
We went to check out their new crib on their trade-open night and it is A LOT bigger than the previous one! When we went to visit them last, the guys were working in a tiny unit that you could barely move in! For the night they had four keg lines from a small bar, with the vessels lined up on the left-hand side and pallets along set up as makeshift coffee tables. An old freight container is now a cool room with all of their brews ready to go!
We found Tom out back cleaning glasses, so had a quick chat with him to see how things are going.
“It’s been absolutely fantastic! Apart from a couple of new fermenters, there’s nothing new in here that we didn’t have in the old site. It’s just now that everything’s all conveniently together and because we’ve got the extra room and space, we can rack whilst we’re brewing which means increased production for no extra investment apart from hiring.”
“The biggest challenge has been the extra travel time which seems quite minor. We didn’t think it would be much of an issue, but because the old brewery was less than ten minutes up the road if I needed to do anything, like dry-hopping, I could just pop round whereas now we’re much further away.”
We were enjoying a pint of their legendary Porter – King Korvak’s Saga. On a chilly night, the rich, smooth chocolate, with a slightly bitter powdered coffee, is the perfect winter warmer and you could see that the beers were going down well!
“The beers have been coming out really well, we’ve had some great feedback on it which is always a bit of a concern when you move a brewery. We’re still knocking out ten casks a brew, but we’ve managed to double our production simply by hiring Tim [the new brew hand] to do the racking. We can go up to 18 with not too much investment, as we’ve only been half filling the fermenters. There’s been lots of hard physical work moving stuff in and getting things in the right place but with the increase in production, I’m super happy with the way it’s gone. The next step, in the new year, is to upsize kit and double production again. We’ve got two fermenters waiting to come online so at that point, we can go to brewing five times a week.”
The guys will be running a temporary event notice for monthly events to see how it goes, then potentially will be opening every week. So head down, say hello and grab a brew from this legendary ‘Dwarfen’ brewery.