Two Towers Brewery -
On a kitchen table, back in autumn 2009, stood two five gallon fermentation vessels. As well as homebrew beer they contained an idea which had been fermenting for almost a decade and which now became a mission - bringing real ale back to Birmingham.
29 Shadwell Street, Birmingham, B4 6HB
Those two beers were the result of more than 50 years (well, we’re late developers!) of the combined homebrew experience of lifelong friends Mark Arnott-Job and Trevor Harris who had first discussed the idea of setting up a brewery back in the late 1990s over a few pints of homebrew. As you do!
That’s when they began brewing together, steadily developing from amateur hobbyists, brewing for fun, into amateur hobbyists brewing seriously, which meant they were often doing more reading and studying than brewing. Over that decade up till 2009 that vague, pie-in-the-sky idea of setting up their own brewery became less vague and more pint-in-the-hand than pie-in-the-sky. They also became more focussed on the idea of ‘bringing real ale back to Birmingham’. Which wasn’t a dig at the other fine breweries in Birmingham but an ambition to brew the kinds of ales that had been available in the region in the past; before the introduction of pasteurised, artificially carbonated beers in the 60s and 70s. Then there was that day, in 2009, the two fermentation vessels sitting on the kitchen table, when “Wouldn’t it be great to set up our own brewery” became “Let’s do it!”
A year later, in 2010, Two Towers Brewery was in business. They chose a basic, undistinguished industrial unit quite deliberately, with no regard for aesthetics, because they wanted the brewery to reflect the industrial heritage of Birmingham. After all, pioneers of the industrial revolution such as Boulton, Watt and Murdoch (commemorated in that glittering statue at the city end of Broad Street) didn’t build factories to look pretty.
We’re Two Towers Brewery because our ales were first brewed, and the enterprise conceived, believe it or not, within sight of two towers! From the aforementioned kitchen you can see the solid and impressive Victorian water tower in the grounds of the Severn Trent Water depot next to Edgbaston reservoir. Just a couple of hundred yards down the road is another tower: Perrotts Folly, built in 1758 by John Perrott; probably so he could survey his hunting grounds for wild boar and deer.