Brewery brings taste of Yorkshire to Derry
Expat from Dales behind north west craft beers
An English craft beer expert has described how he was inspired to set up his own brewery in Londonderry after spotting a gap in the market.
Andrew Rough said that after settling down and marrying in the north west, he soon discovered that the beer offering was limited compared with what he has been accustomed to in his native Yorkshire.
Rough Brothers Brewing now produces five products in Derry with backing from the Go For It Programme.
"As a Yorkshire man, I am used to a really wide selection of beers, ales and stouts," he said.
"But when I moved to Northern Ireland the selection was limited to what I had been accustomed.
"I really struggled to find something different to the common mass-produced brands.
"Over time a few microbreweries started to pop up and that's when the idea really started. I worked in the Walled City Brewery when it first opened.
"I loved seeing the process from grain to glass and I enjoyed seeing the look on people's faces when they tasted something a little different to the usual offerings."
Mr Rough has used locally sourced grain to brew five drinks, including an oatmeal stout and northern pale ale, plus an exclusive beer for an Asian street food-inspired restaurant.
His new venture has been backed by the Go For It programme, which is part funded by Derry City and Strabane District Council, Invest NI and the European Regional Development Fund.
The Yorkshire native said that he turned to the programme for help after accepting that he lacked the necessary business knowledge to put the idea into motion.
"I had an idea of what I wanted my business to look like and the types of products I would produce, but when it came to putting it together into a business, that's where I needed help," he said.
"I knew what I wanted the business to look like, but I needed advice when it came to the legalities surrounding alcohol production, health and safety and insurance."
Claire Costello, who works as a business adviser for Enterprise North West, which cover the Derry City and Strabane District Council area, said: "Andrew had a really vibrant and exciting business idea, which we helped him to fine-tune into a viable business opportunity.
"Andrew hit the market at a really good time, craft beer is having a real moment at present, with no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
"It is fantastic to see Andrew doing so well, with new stockists announced on a regular basis," she added.