On the Hop Forward Podcast this week, we catch up with Jason Bayliffe: founder of Wiltshire’s Broadtown Brewery.
A railway engineer by trade, Jason took his passion for home brewing to the next level by converting an old, derelict coach house from the 1830’s, which once held the dray horses of the old Hart ‘Brewing Family’ of Broad Town and Royal Wootton Bassett, bought not one, but two 500L German engineered Braumiesters – the only two in the UK, might I add, and started Broadtown Brewery.
Jason now employs a small team of people to help run the brewery, including a full time brewer Nathan Beet, formerly senior brewer at Cotswold Brewery and Head Brewer at the White Horse Brewery in Oxford, to help produce and develop the core range and speciality beers.
Recently, Jason hosted a socially distanced beer festival called Alpaca Fields, which drew a significant following of locals into the family grounds for beers, bands and artisan food.
It’s easy to think beer is all about the latest hipster brewery in some urban area smashing out hazy IPAs, when – in fact – Broadtown Brewery have huge appeal from locals in an area just outside of Swindon that you wouldn’t really associate with beer at all.
So much so, that Jason and the team are working on The Hop Chapel; the Broadtown Brewery tap room with reclaimed stained glass windows, pipe organ and wooden chapel doors.
In this conversation, we talk about what it’s like coming into the brewing scene relatively late the party and just before coronavirus; how having a different background in a different industry has shaped the brewery, and how the growth of the brewery has largely been fuelled by local people wanting local beer.