New Market Harborough brewer drunk dry

Ivan Sheldrake and Simon Shepley of The Market Harborough Brewery.'PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER
Ivan Sheldrake and Simon Shepley of The Market Harborough Brewery.'PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

Market Harborough’s new brewery has been so successful in its first month that it has been regularly drunk dry by enthusiastic local people.

“Our launch couldn’t have gone any better” said head brewer Simon Shepley.

“The support from the population of Market Harborough has been fantastic, and the huge positivity has surprised us.

“We didn’t anticipate selling as much as we did, and we didn’t expect to keep running out of stock before Christmas - but it’s a nice problem to have!”

The grand opening of The Market Harborough Brewery and Shop at 71, St Mary’s Road (behind the Plumb Center), was only at the end of 
November.

But from the “mega-successful” launch party onwards, demand for beer brewed in the town has been phenomenal.

“We’ve been selling out at the shop, which is open every Saturday, and Duncan Murray Wines on Adam and Eve Street has been selling everything we’ve given him as well” said Simon.

“Now we have to see how it goes in the quieter months of January and February.

“Originally, we didn’t expect to have the brewery up and running until February.

“And we have to go out to retailers and look for gentle growth over the next few months.

“We’ve seen the demand is there, but we have to ensure regular supplies for our retailers.”

Simon added: “So far, it couldn’t have gone any better. We’re feeling a little bit more relaxed about our big investment than we were a couple of months ago.”

The new brewery has been the dream for years of Harborough man Simon (50), a former sales and marketing executive.

“I’ve been a keen brewer for 25 years, from home” he said. “But I’ve always wanted my own brewery business, and I’ve always wondered why Market Harborough didn’t have its own brewery.

“It got to the point where I thought ‘if I don’t do this now, I never will’.”

The number of small “craft” breweries in the UK, like the Market Harborough Brewery, has more than doubled in the last five years.

But at the same time, the number of UK pubs is shrinking - at the rate of 30 a week.

All the Market Harborough Brewery beer will be made on the St Mary’s Road premises. The shop selling the beer will be open every Saturday.