Carbon Smith first started over a Pint back in September 2013. I was in Edinburgh visiting my Dad and had just found out I hadn’t got my dream job as a Brewer at The Kernel. My life seemed a bit directionless, especially after 6 years of University so after a few initial sums on the back of a receipt we decided to start our own brewery.
We had one major problem though, absolutely no money.
With a small £2.5k government loan we purchased the basics to get us to market ASAP:
– 60L Stainless steel HERMS kit with a fair bit of customisation.
– A Pallet of KeyKegs.
– Enough Ingredients for several brews.
Next problem, where to put it. We looked at small lock-ups, office spaces and small retail units but they all cost far too much and a 60L kit wouldn’t be able to pay the rent. Then the idea hit us,I already had a large bedroom with lots of space so what’s stopping us putting it there? Apart from it being rented, a houseshare and on a 4th floor of a tenement block… Still, We filled in the necessary paperwork with the EHO and HMRC and, miraculously, got it approved. Got our first couple of beers brewed and Launched in April 2014.
We were only there for a couple of months until we built our own unit from scratch. Only 16ft x 8ft but in no way could it piss off the landlord. Starting from a horrible old shed filled with mostly plumbing parts and angry spiders we installed electrics, water, insulation, drainage and heating.
As of March 2015 we are currently upgrading to a 2bbl kit, using upside down stainless steel water tanks as they very cheaply mimic the functions on a purpose built tank but for a tenth of the price, watch this space!