We built a brewery by mistake…

Okay, not totally by mistake, but it was never our intention. It just sort of… grew.

A lot of people know that Beer Nouveau started life in our garage as the England’s smallest commercial brewery. That was because what I set out to do was create a “brew pub” for myself and my mates to hang out in at the weekends, making and drinking beer. It then grew, and expanded, and grew, and over the last seven years has changed into something else completely.

In that time we’ve helped set up the Manchester Hop Project, where we work with people growing hops in their gardens and allotments and give them beer in exchange for those locally grown fresh hops. We’ve helped form and host Temperance Street Brewery on our premises, where we give brewing lessons and experience days, and help aspiring brewers get commercial experience not just of brewing, but of selling their beer. We’ve also helped set up Temperance Street Cider, picking up where Moss Cider left off, turning what would be waste apples and pears into cider and perry.

It’s got a little cramped in our arch. Especially over the last year while we’ve hosted brand new start-up Cat in the Glass.

Beer Nouveau itself has grown as a tap room, hosting lots of events throughout the year, and as a brewery has gained a reputation for specialising in heritage and historic brewing.

The problem is, over those last seven years, and especially in the last two or three, and very much especially in the last year, the beer world has changed. And trying to keep up with it all has taken its toll, especially on being able to research and brew the heritage beers we love.

So we’re going to be making some changes.

One of the biggest changes is that Beer Nouveau will be readjusting its focus so that I can get back to brewing heritage and traditional-style beers. Temperance Street Brewery and the beers cuckoo brewed there will take over more of the brewery tap side of things, with our beers permanently available in wooden cask alongside their more modern styled beers on keg.

The Temperance Street Brewery kit is expanding, adding a 50l kit to the two existing 25l kits. This means that people can make a full keg or firkin, rather than just bottles and cans, and we’ll be upgrading parts of the 1bbl kit for those looking to go commercial without having to invest in all the equipment and overheads themselves. We’ll also be building on the homebrew supplies business we’ve started over the lockdowns.

A second main thing is that we’ll be selling part of our large brewery kit. The brewing part of it.

We’ll be keeping and adapting the fermenters though, so that we can use them for cider as Temperance Street Cider is about to expand. Last year they produced 3,500 litres of cider made from apples from people’s gardens and allotments. This year they’re already helping to intercept waste supermarket fruit as well, which will increase their production, meaning more space is needed.

Being able to reorganise and fully reopen the arch means that we can host more events during the week and will allow us to properly get Beer & B-Movies up and running. You did know we were about to launch a cinema in the brewery just before Covid hit? (Huge thanks to the folks at Chapeltown Picture House for their MASSIVE support, guidance, advice and encouragement for this!) Beer & B-Movies will bring old fashioned Sunday Double Features back, with a really “dodgy” B-Movie followed by a cult classic on a similar theme. This will be a not-for-profit venture, but more on that later.

Between Beer Nouveau refocussing on the heritage beers, Temperance Street Brewery stepping up to teach, experiment and host experience brew days, Temperance Street Cider expanding, Beer & B-Movies starting up, and all the other events we’ve got planned – not to mention our huge new beer garden bedding in – next year is going to be rather different in the arch.

This will all start to happen in September, when we have to close up and move out for a few weeks while Network Rail do works on our arch, and we should be back up and brewing ready for October.