Boozeflash: Beverley beer geek opens new brewery in East Yorkshire

Allan Rice
Allan Rice

A “beer geek” is hoping to become the toast of the town after opening a new brewery.

Atom Beers will supply thousands of pints a week to pubs and bars across the country, making it one of the biggest breweries in East Yorkshire.

The brewery has been set up by experienced brewer Allan Rice, who signs his emails “Chief Beer Geek.” Its first brew will be ready to drink just in time for Christmas.

Allan, 33, said: “Running my own brewery is my dream job. I’m fascinated by ingredients and flavour. I also like to experiment with ingredients and techniques to create exciting new beers.

“Everyone has a fascination with brewing. It’s an industry which helps people be merry and have a fun.

“In that way it’s a very cool business to be in. It’s young and vibrant and always evolving. You can’t rest on your laurels. You have to continually push the flavour boundaries to create something new.”

Allan’s partner Sarah, 31, is also involved in the business. The couple, who live in Beverley, decided to call their brewery Atom Beers because of their mutual fascination with science.

Allan has a degree in physiology and worked for Tempest Brewery in Kelso in the Scottish Borders, before launching Atom Beers.

Sarah is a science teacher at Scarborough Sixth Form College and has a masters’ degree in Chemistry from Oxford University and a PHD in chemistry from Edinburgh University.

They have invested their life savings setting up the brewery.

Allan said: “Sarah came up with the name Atom Beers. We both like it because it’s short and sweet but it also describes something that is at the core of what we do. Brewing is described as an art but we believe the science is equally important.”

Initially, there will be a range of four core beers – a pale ale, India pale ale, golden ale and a “dark alchemy” but there are also plans to launch a range of “experimental” beers.

“The only thing that limits us is our imagination. We have enough recipes to do 30 beers and we are coming up with new ones all the time but they have to make financial sense. We may add to the core range as well,” said Allan.

Atom Beers is based at the Food Innovation and Technology Park on Sutton Fields Industrial Estate, Hull. The brewery’s tag line is “The science behind brewing.”

The brewery has 10-barrel brew house capable of producing 6,500 pints a week.

The beers will be available at Chequers Micropub in Beverley and Pave, Larkins and Henry Yeast and Son in Hull. Atom Beers is also supplying real ale outlets in London, York, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Allan expects the beers and modern brand to appeal to the 25-45 year olds, which is a younger audience than is traditionally associated with real ale.

He said: “We will be creating beers with big flavours, using more hops and complex malts.

“We also want to promote the science of brewing and encourage people to learn more about beer. At the moment, we don’t think that’s catered for in the brewing world.

“Our pump clips are designed to look like molecules so people will naturally be intrigued. But most importantly, when they drink the beer they will taste something really complex with lots of flavour.

“Fundamentally, the difference between a good and a bad beer is whether or not you want to drink another one of them.”

Despite the regular reports of pubs closing, Allan believes this is a good time to open a brewery.

He said: “Like a lot of things, the UK often takes a lead from America. In the US, the small brewing industry is growing at an exponential rate.

“Here in the UK there are a lot more people doing well-made flavoursome beers but there is a lot of room for growth.

“People are seeking out pubs and bars that sell hand-crafted beers. Ironically, when people have less money to spend they tend to spend more on little luxuries and that applies to beers too.”