Amble brewery Brewis Beer Company starts online delivery service after lockdown halted opening of new premises

Lockdown hit at the worst possible time for an Amble nano-brewery just as it was about to open new premises.

Thursday, 7th May 2020, 1:08 pm
Updated Sunday, 10th May 2020, 1:03 am

The Brewis Beer Company was getting ready to open on the Coquet Enterprise Park when everything came to a halt.

It has been a stressful few weeks for owner Chris Brewis, his wife Maxine, son-in-law Mathew Bould and Craig Stewart.

Now, at last, there is light at the end of the tunnel as the business embarks on online orders and home deliveries.

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Maxine Brewis, Chris Brewis, Mathew Bould and Craig Stewart. Picture by The Ambler.

Chris said: “We certainly hadn’t planned for a global pandemic in our business plan.

“We were going hell for leather to open at the end of March and then lockdown came so we’ve had to have a rethink.

“We started an online shop on Monday and we’ve been doing deliveries across Northumberland the last few days.

“We’ve had quite a lot of orders coming in which is encouraging and we’re now thinking about introducing a courier service in the future.”

The business was started by Chris two years ago after he was made redundant.

“I decided I wanted to do something different,” he explained. “I had spent a long time with a big company in a professional role with the usual pressures that involves.

“My wife had survived breast cancer and it led me to reconsider what I was doing. That’s where we came up with the idea of a brewery.”

They bought a high quality home-brewing kit and began brewing in their garden shed in Warkworth.

Chris then did some formal training at Brewlab in Sunderland with support from a business enterprise programme.

“It was this time last year when we were ready to go professional,” recalled Chris. “Until then we had just done home brewing for family and friends.

“We expanded by moving the set up into my daughter’s garage and we got our various licenses.

“We started selling beer in July 2019 and were really pleased with the demand for it.”

They produce a range of styles, from modern, hoppy IPAs to more traditional porters and stouts.

“We got a tremendous amount of support from the brewing community,” said Chris. “It’s a very inclusive industry with lots of people keen to help out. The First and Last Brewery in Elsdon were particularly helpful.

“Quite a few of the local shops and restaurants starting taking our beers and they’re now on sale from Berwick to Newcastle.

“Cravens Agency in Newcastle also helped out by doing our branding for free.”

To take it to the next level, Chris and Maxine sold the house they had been living in for 22 years to invest in the business.

“We took on the industrial unit in October and installed a bigger brewing kit,” said Chris. “It’s also got a temperature controlled cold room and a tap room.

“We’re also planning to have tables and chairs outside so people can enjoy a drink.

“Unfortunately people haven’t been able to do that yet but we hope our online service is at least a replacement until they can go back to the pub.”

It is offering free deliveries in the local area for orders over £25. Visit https://brewisbeer.co.uk/

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