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Station 119's founding fathers: new premises awaiting delivery of a 12-barrel plant

Suffolk’s Station 119 on the up in new premises

Suffolk’s all-keg craft brewer Station 119, named after a nearby American airbase, is set for take-off after moving to expansive new premises earlier this year.

Its original 2.5-barrel brew kit will be replaced in February 2018 by a 12-barrel plant built by US manufacturer Ss Brewtech. There is space at its 2,500 square feet site at Eye to increase fermenting capacity four-fold as the company stretches its customer base into London and the rest of East Anglia.

The business was founded in 2014 by wine merchant and home-brewer Marc Medland together with an old school friend, Elliott Norris, following a beer-trip the pair made to the West Coast of the United States.

“I was selling a lot of beer in my shop, Marc1Wines in Aldeburgh, and I was always interested in hoppy beers,” he said. “We were one of the first to sell Kernel’s beers outside of London back in 2009.

“The idea grew from there, really. I sold the lease on the shop and started brewing on a kit we built ourselves in Elliott’s shed.”

A third business partner, Steven Matsell, another old friend, joined the company later.

That first brewery was within a mile of the American airbase Station 119, now a museum, and as well as taking the name appropriate to a brewery specialising in US-style beers, it also inspired the retro pin-up branding.

“The base was known for the ‘nose art’ on the front of its aircraft, and we’ve used that in our branding to reflect American craft style,” Medland explained.

“All our beers are packaged in one-way kegs, because we believe extra hoppy beers like ours are best when they’re cold and carbonated. We’ll start canning next year as well, probably using a mobile line to get us started.”

Since the move to Eye, production on the 2.5-barrel kit has increased with three 20-hectolitre fermenters and a conditioning tank installed, and Station 119’s range of kegged beers have found their way into the capital.

“We want to increase our sales in London, and there is more to go for in the Eye area and across East Anglia,” said Medland.

A tap room opened at the brewery earlier this month and there are plans to take Station 119’s beers on the road next year, setting up a mobile bar at events like the War and Peace Revival military history festival in Kent in July.

Phil Mellows
29th November 2017

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