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Garage micro-brewery looking to expand
Buy this photo » James Weir in his garage brewery.
A microbrewery which started in a garage has been officially launched.
Upstart Brewing began in August after its founder, James Weir, 37, gave up his job in the City to pursue his hobby full time.
He introduced two new brews at the event on Saturday in Christchurch Hall, Wanstead Place, and he sold more than 250 pints of Upstart Alpha, a 4.3 per cent pale ale, and Upstart Beta, a 4.8 per cent German-style dark beer.
Mr Weir, of Cheyne Avenue, Wanstead, has been brewing beer in his home for more than ten years after he went back to university to study for a master’s degree and decided it would be cheaper to brew his own beer.
He said: “When I figured out my budget for university I realised I couldn’t afford beer.
“I’m pretty much self-taught from books and experimentation and started to get serious about five years ago when I bought a commercial pilot line and stuck it in my garage.
“This got me hooked on the quality and variety of beers which I could produce, and I began to think that I could do something with my hobby.
“I find that brewing really stimulates the senses, gives you a real physical sense of tiredness and achievement and you end up with a superb end product.
“This is a real vocation for me, and the craft of it beats the hell out of the daily Central line grind."
It was during a visit to his wife’s home town of Santa Cruz in California that Mr Weir was influenced by brewing techniques he discovered on the West Coast.
He said: “I like the beer from the new groups of London brewers, but I think mine is just as good and I’d like to get it out of my garage and into people’s glasses.
“My aim is to get my beers out to the beer drinkers of Wanstead and east London in cask and bottle, share the joy I feel about beer and really demonstrate that there is a market for these recipes.
“I feel that people want to support something local which is why I am focusing currently on Wanstead where I have lived for the past four years, and before that in Hackney for seven years.”
Mr Weir is currently searching for bigger premises in Woodford Bridge in which to expand his operation.
He said: “Initially, I may use my pilot line, but I’m planning on putting in a larger kit so that I can do commercial scale production of my beers.”
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