The History of Weird Beard brew Co
A bit of a story and some anecdotes from the very beginning through to right now, written by Gregg, Co-Founder, Director and Spreadsheet (or should that be wordprossessor) Ninja
The seeds for Weird Beard started when Bryan and Gregg met in the upstairs of the Euston Tap at Brewdog's first IPA is Dead launch in early 2011. This was actually Alison, Gregg's wife's, fault as while Gregg was at the bar she started talking to a guy reading a Japanese Craft beer magazine, that guy turned out to be Bryan. Shortly after Tony Lennon, then manager of the Euston Tap, sent out a tweet asking who was interested in starting a brewery, that tweet was answered by both Gregg and Bryan and lead to the start of the project with no title and roughly comprising "a group of people starting a brewery". Two other people were involved at times in the project, Les who is a now a shareholder and Stig a friend from London Amateur Brewers. The old adage too many cooks... was rather apt at this time as the lengthy conversations about the brewery name were to attest to. So it was probably a good thing that the numbers dwindled down to just Gregg and Bryan and even that looked like it was about to fall by the wayside when Bryan showed up, to what could well have been the final meeting, with a name and logo and Gregg decided to commit to the project. Weird Beard was born and the company was incorporated in October 2011.
Before we started brewing and selling commercially in fact een before we got our hands on the keys to our brewery we did a number of tasting events...
The search for PremisEs
The two founders frequented London Amateur Brewers, a home-brew club, where they cut their teeth as home-brewers and got some great constructive feedback on their beers. At this point they met Mike Ellenberg, a fellow home-brewer who was looking to go pro. Some discussions were had and it was decided that combining our resources and cash would allow us to open up with a much more impressive brewery that we could normally have afforded. We formed an umbrella company called Anthill Brewery Services in January 2012 . Interesting aside where the name came from. The partners of Gregg Mike and Bryan were called Alison, Elizabeth and Shizuka, Al-Liz-Uka, which apparently is close to the Japanese word for anthill.
The search for premises and equipment started focused in West London mainly as Mike wanted to cycle to work. We initially looked at some archways in South Harrow but the landlord, National Rail, were a bit useless, then we looked at a unit in Hanwell but the landlord would not manage to get the leaky roof fixed, finally we went for a unit in Boston Business Park, also in Hanwell, and signed the lease in November 2012.
Setting up a Brewery
The hard work was about to start. Detailed well by Bryan in our Blog so I will keep this section short.