Matt & Ben have known each other for years, and have always shared a love for wonky music, tasty beers and playing football enthusiastically but without much quality.
In 2016, Matt booked Ben, himself and Matt’s brother-in-law, Andy, on a 1-day course entitled: ‘How to Make Craft Beer’. It was cancelled when the tutor got sick, but they had a good day out in Brighton drinking beer and eating pancakes instead. Not to be discouraged, they booked another date. And during the course of that day they succeeded in making beer for the first time in their lives. This made them feel exceptionally happy. They wanted to do it again.
Over the following months they bought, borrowed and cobbled together a standard homebrew equipment set-up, including:
- A 30-litre catering urn for a Hot Liquor Tank
- A converted 40-litre coolbox for a Mash Tun
- A 50-litre pan for a Brewing Kettle
- A few 30-litre plastic buckets Fermentation buckets
They got to work brewing some beers of their own, focussing on the kind of beers they liked to drink themselves: session-strength hoppy pale ales (and one knock-out Black IPA). Things went well. Everything they brewed tasted good. Friends and wives tried it and said nice things.
After a while, Andy left Matt & Ben to get on with things, and they started to invest (just a few quid) in a some more bits of kit, including:
- A plate-chiller
- 80-litre conical fermenter
- A better catering urn to replace the original, borrowed HLT
Then they made more nice, drinkable beer. And their friends and wives continued to say nice things. Bless them. But then they would, wouldn’t they? Which got them thinking:
‘Is it actually any good? Would people who don’t already know and like us drink our beer and say nice things about it too…?’
So they took the plunge and created Silver Rocket Brewing. They registered Matt’s house as a brewery, jumped through some regulatory hoops, and then, curiously, just like that, and much to their surprise and delight, they were a real and actual brewery.
Their first official batch was brewed right there, in Matt’s kitchen in Hassocks. They only had the capacity to make around 40 litres, which they hand-bottled and hand-labelled.
Their beer was sold in a few local shops, to people who didn’t already know and like them, and they did say nice things about it.