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After a few years home brewing and craft beer geekery, we decided to brew our own beer as wedding favours for our wedding back in October 2015. We developed a recipe, brewed, bottled, labelled & came up with the name “Double-Barrelled” beer, as a hint to our double-barrelled surname, to much positive reaction from our friends & family.
Also, in a twist of fate involving our wedding venue burning down a few months before the wedding (I kid you not!!), we were able to hand pick every single drink for our wedding bar menu, a pleasure we had not had at the previous venue.
This prompted a UK beer tour, visiting breweries from The Kernel to Siren to sample & pick up bottles to create an epic 12 bottle list for our wedding.
The menu customisation spread further to local spirits, independent soft drinks & unique cocktails. We even managed a research & buying trip to Brugges & Champagne – we took the role very seriously…!
In fact stocking the bar was one of the best parts of the wedding planning.
We absolutely loved the process and reluctantly went back into our safe, sturdy corporate jobs, wondering how we could make our own mark on the craft beer scene.
Despite Luci already working in the food & drink industry and Mike having done logistics consulting work in breweries, actually getting hands on brewing seemed like a step too far away.
Then the “bright” idea came – why don’t we quit our jobs, travel the world researching all sorts of craft alcohol, gaining as much knowledge as possible so we can open our own place when we return.
So much to our astonishment, we did.
We planned our route, taking in the best spots for beer, spirits & wine, whilst combining once in a lifetime experiences. We packed our backpacks ready for an unforgettable journey. You can catch up on some of the highlights here.
Now we are home in Reading and ready to use all the knowledge we have gained over the last few years to create something truly epic.
We hung out with some of the world’s best brewers, finding out their processes, enjoying their beers & sharing their passions. We’ve visited vineyards & hop farms around the world from Germany to New Zealand, gaining greater understanding of terroirs and farming processes.
We’ve explored multi-spirit distilleries, from the home of the Temperance movement in the US to schnapps in Scandinavia, experiencing the effects of barrel aging, temperature control and ingredients sourcing.
We’ve also shaken up cocktails, undertaking an intensive cocktail bartending course, working behind the bar in one of the greatest cities in the world, London. It’s been a busy few years of research, but someone had to do it!
We’ve spent the last few months using all that knowledge to develop recipes & build our plans to open what we hope to be something special on the UK brewing scene.
Thanks to all those who have followed us & supported us so far. We can’t wait for you to join us for a beer.
Mike & Luci Clayton-Jones