Ale’s well that ends well for James

Barnsley brewer James Taylor.
Barnsley brewer James Taylor.

A REAL ale lover from Barnsley, who lost his job due to Government cuts, has seized the chance to follow his dream of starting his own small brewery.

James Taylor, 54, was made redundant from his post as a performance specialist with axed watchdog, the Audit Commission, and has used his redundancy pay and life savings to launch the Two Roses Brewery.

Brewing is about to start at his newly fitted-out unit at Darton Business Park with the first batches of hand-crafted cask and bottled beers set to be ready by mid-April.

As well as a core range including a stout, a fruity golden beer and a traditional bitter, there will be special editions.

The first is ‘Roy-ale Wedding’ to mark the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton on April 29.

James, who lives at Staincross Common, already has orders from Sheffield’s University Arms pub and local beer festivals, including the Campaign for Real Ale’s (CAMRA) annual general meeting in Sheffield and the Barnsley Beer Festival at Elsecar.

James said: “I’ve been passionate about real ale for 30 years and a member of CAMRA. For the last 10 years, I’ve brewed on a small-scale at home. I see it as a mixture of science and art.

“Like many people, I’ve always wanted my own brewery so, after being made redundant, I decided with the backing of my family to go for it.

“I came up with the name Two Roses because I grew up in Oldham in Lancashire but I’m very happy to be launching my business in Barnsley, where I’ve lived since 1995.

“As well as the water here being great, I’ve also had lots of encouragement and support from local people. My plans seem to really resonate.”

This encouragement has included financial and marketing coaching from the Enterprising Barnsley programme, which offers business support to Barnsley businesses with growth potential.

James added: “It’s quite a challenge starting a business and the coaching I’ve had through Enterprising Barnsley, especially around the development of my website, has been extremely useful.”

As well as supplying pubs and festivals, James plans to sell through farm shops and restaurants and will also be able to offer 72-pint casks for private parties.

He is keen to keep distribution as local as possible with an eye on the environmental impact of his business. He is also looking at the possibility of using recycled bottles in the hand-bottling process.

* From May, parties of 15 or more will be able to book a brewery tour, including tasting in the sampling room, and there are plans for an on-site shop in the future.