Search

‘I ran out of spare cash for the pub’ - meet the award-winning home brewer who works from his garage

PUBLISHED: 12:30 22 February 2020

Keith Bailey has been home brewing beer since 2010 from his garage in Sprowston. PIctures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

Keith Bailey has been home brewing beer since 2010 from his garage in Sprowston. PIctures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

Archant

A man whose home brewing career began when the recession knocked his pub fund has seen his beers scoop gongs at national awards.

Keith Bailey won a gold and bronze medal at National Homebrew Championships in Bristol for an amber lager and hybrid beer and Belgium strong ale respectively. PIctures: BRITTANY WOODMANKeith Bailey won a gold and bronze medal at National Homebrew Championships in Bristol for an amber lager and hybrid beer and Belgium strong ale respectively. PIctures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

Keith Bailey, an aircraft engineer, won a gold and bronze medal at the National Homebrew Championships in Bristol for an amber lager and Belgian strong ale.

Both were brewed in the 48-year-old's Sprowston garage.

Keith Bailey says the key to a good home brewed pint is patience and learning from your mistakes. PIctures: BRITTANY WOODMANKeith Bailey says the key to a good home brewed pint is patience and learning from your mistakes. PIctures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

Mr Bailey began home-brewing in 2010 after the financial crisis hit in 2008 and left him without spare cash for trips to the pub.

He said his first couple of pints were not great but now, having refined his recipes, brews every two or three weeks.

Norwich Amateur Brewers medal winners (l-R) Martin Haworth, Keith Bailey, Mat Ridge, Alan Waddington. Picture: Keith BaileyNorwich Amateur Brewers medal winners (l-R) Martin Haworth, Keith Bailey, Mat Ridge, Alan Waddington. Picture: Keith Bailey

Mr Bailey said: "It takes a few brews to learn a few things. It is important to control the temperature so now my garage is full of fridges.

"My top-tip for aspiring home brewers is patience and writing down previous beers so you can learn from your mistakes. Also you must buy the best hops you can get and it is essential to use continental malts if you're making continental beer. It's an involved process but the best thing is you get a beer at the end of it."

Keith Bailey makes beer every two to three weeks and is a member of Norwich Amateur Brewers. PIctures: BRITTANY WOODMANKeith Bailey makes beer every two to three weeks and is a member of Norwich Amateur Brewers. PIctures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

You may also want to watch:

But he warned the process smells - and does not go down well with his wife and family - which is why he chose the garage as a makeshift brewery.

He said from start to finish, from brewing until drinking, takes around a month, although stronger beers take longer.

Mr Bailey is a member of Norwich Amateur Brewers, which holds monthly meetings at The Coachmakers Arms on St Stephens Road, Norwich, and is free to join.

The group is set to hold a one-day home brew festival at the pub on Saturday, June 6, from 12pm to 9pm.

Organiser Ashley Carr, 63, from Melton Constable, said: "Home brew has had a bad reputation but it is becoming extremely well regarded.

"Plus it can afford to be experimental as there are no commercial pressures - I've tried a peanut butter stout home brew before."

Ticket details are still to be revealed but a standard ticket will include 12 thirds of a pint with all proceeds going to charity.

For more information follow @BrewNorwich on Twitter.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Eastern Daily Press. Click the link in the yellow box below for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years, through good times and bad. Coronavirus is one of the greatest challenges our community has ever faced, but if we all play our part we will defeat it. We're here to serve as your advocate and trusted source of local information.

In these testing times, your support is more important than ever. Thank you.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Eastern Daily Press