A pub landlord who fulfilled his dream of opening a microbrewery is quickly finding success with a range of new ales.
Dean Baker, who runs The Jolly Brewer in Stamford with his partner Jill, came up with the idea of making his own beer about five years ago.
He had hoped to build an extension to the pub in Foundry Road and brew on site, but decided to look elsewhere after discussions with the pub’s owner Pubco broke down.
Dean and Jill found a site at Ketton Industrial Estate in November last year, and after several months of hard work were finally able to get Baker’s Dozen Brewing Co up and running. The firm launched its first real ale, Electric Landlady, in June. And the reception so far has been overwhelmingly positive.
Dean said: “It’s been fantastic. The beer has been flying out of the pub.
“There are styles of beer that we like, and that’s what we are brewing at the moment. Luckily the customers we have gained share the same taste in beer.”
Dean first went on a brewing course about five years ago, and has been itching to pour a pint of his own ale at The Jolly Brewer ever since.
“Having a go at brewing seemed like a natural progression for us after a lifetime in the pub industry for me and our joint passion for great beer,” he said.
“Once we pulled the plug on the idea to extend the pub, we decided to set it up off-site.”
Dean and Jill found the unit in Ketton, which Rutland County Council was making improvements to at the time, and it seemed like the ideal choice.
The custom brewing equipment was delivered in February and after several months of hard work they began selling their first beer at The Jolly Brewer in June.
Dean said: “I’d been brewing in a small 50l kit, so it’s the same principle but on a much larger scale. Getting to grips with all the pumps and valves took a while.
“The recipes didn’t scale up as they should have so it was almost like starting from scratch. We did a test brew which we sold in the pub, which went down quite well. The brew day was a disaster but we got some beer out of it, and it was drinkable as well.
“The second brew was just horrible. After that we got to grips with it and the next few have been great.”
So far Baker’s Dozen has produced Electric Landlady - a five per cent ale with a fruity aroma; Summertime, a 4.6 per cent brew with Australian Hops; and Jentacular, of which Jill joked: “We found out the name means pertaining to breakfast, although we don’t want to encourage early morning drinking!”
The firm’s beers have mostly been on sale at The Jolly Brewer, although Dean hopes to sell in other Stamford pubs soon. They were also available at Rutland Camra’s recent beer festival, where Electric Landlady won beer of the festival.
Visitors to this week’s Burghley Park Cricket Week and Beer Festival also got to sample a Baker’s Dozen beer.
Dean is now looking to the future. He said: “We’ve got a three year lease. We hope that at the end of that it’s successful and we can expand.”