‘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
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, 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.
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.
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."
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.