Phipps beer will be brewed in Northampton again from next month.
In July last year, the Chronicle & Echo revealed a group of entrepreneurs were planning to re-open the Phipps brewery in Northampton after the company left town in 1974.
Now, the group’s headquarters – a former brewery building in Kingswell Street in the town centre – is well on the way to being kitted out as a brewery again.
The man behind the project, Northamptonshire-born Alaric Neville, said brewing equipment would be installed inside the building in the next few days and the first pint should be brewed on-site by the middle of February.
He said: “Once we’re up and running, we’ll be able to produce quite a lot of beer because this is an old brewery building, so it’s perfect for what we want to do.”
Since taking over the former brewery last year, the group have fixed the roof, sandblasted the walls and begun work to install a bar.
They hope to start selling Phipps beer brewed in Northampton from March and are planning a public open day at the brewery on May 26.
By Christmas, the bar where people will be able to see their drink being brewed in front of them will be open.
Mr Neville said: “Getting the brewery up and running and selling a Phipps beer brewed in Northampton is our main priority for now, we’ll tackle the bar after that.”
Mr Neville revived Phipps beers back in 2008, but the drinks had to be brewed in Rutland. The restoration of the former Northampton brewery is expected to cost more than £1 million. It will be the second biggest brewery in the county, after Carlsberg.
A former foreman at the Phipps brewery in Northampton says he is delighted the company will once again brew beer in Northampton. Northampton resident Eric Phipps – who is not related to the brewing family – worked at the Phipps brewery in Bridge Street. He said: “I think it’s a really good thing to see Phipps coming back to Northampton. It will be nice to see the Phipps name back in town again and it’s nice they’re doing such a good job with the old brewery building.” After working for Phipps, Mr Phipps, who is now 90, also worked for Carlsberg in Northampton. He said: “It was a great career. I always thought, ‘if you don’t like working in the brewing industry, there must be something wrong with you’.”