Henry Austwick

History student brews up business idea

A student on the Cornwall Campus, is setting up a brewery with a difference. He is now looking for local businesses or individuals who might be able to help provide space for his company.

The brainchild of 19 year-old University of Exeter History student Henry Austwick, Smugglers Brewery will produce speciality high quality premium ales and will offer microbrewery kits and training for people to brew their own beer. Henry also believes his services are likely to be of interest to both bars and restaurateurs in the area.

Henry is looking for a small site near to the Cornwall Campus,where he can oversee the small-scale production of a range of historic ales. Henry comes from a family who are involved in brewing in South Wales and hopes to combine his historical interests with a modern approach to brewing.

Smugglers Brewery will recapture the flavour and magic of such historic ales as Cromwellian, Napoleonic, Victorian ales and Henry will be applying traditional brewing skills to his business to develop a limited selection of unique ales. Henry aims to tune Smuggler’s products to restaurant dishes and local tastes as well as getting his exclusive ales into local pubs.

The microbrewery kits which the company will also be offering are smaller in size than other kits, so can pass through doorways to be installed in restaurants, kitchens and small pubs. The company will also offer brewing training and support with the hope of creating a new generation of microbreweries and microbrewers in the region.

With so many country pubs suffering from the effects of the recession, it is hoped that the Smugglers Brewery kits will offer a potential new lease of life. By creating a new business model for attracting customers to a new range of products and tastes it may be possible to rescue at least some of these lost village pubs.

Henry Austwick said: "Brewing is such a traditional skill, that it seems right to make it accessible to anyone who is interested. So I thought that having this new approach to micro brewing would be a good idea.  Being part of a University certainly helps – not only have I had support from my business mentor, but being surrounded by students, many of whom enjoy beer, is also a great motivation!"

Mark Scibor-Rylski from University of Exeter in Cornwall Enterprises, the University’s business mentor organisation which is supporting the new company, said “We believe that Smugglers has the potential to introduce new ales and a new way of brewing into the region. This is exciting because it could mean a new generation of ales for Cornwall, providing a boost to pubs and restaurants and also another high quality export for the county.

”Henry is a great example of an entrepreneurial student, who is combining his passion with a really solid business idea.”

Henry is currently looking for a suitable site near the Cornwall Campus, Penryn, where the company can work on demonstration ales for local consumption and show the microbrewery kit to interested parties. Would-be brewers with outbuildings or anyone interested in what this company might do and think you can help or would like to know more about Smugglers Brewery, please contact: Henry or Mark on 01326 377260.

Date: 23 April 2010

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