Round Corner Brewing is the culmination of a 5-year dream shared by two old friends and one that predates the current British beer renaissance. It began more than fifteen years ago when Combie, a City director raised in rural Ireland, walked into Mac’s Brew Bar in Wellington New Zealand and met their head brewer and Belfast native Colin, who was in the process of making them one of the most innovative players in New Zealand’s burgeoning craft scene. A lifelong friendship was struck over a shared desire to build something of their own when the time was right.
After more than a decade of plotting and planning, Melton Mowbray’s Agricultural Market proved to be the perfect setting for their venture. It is a singular place at the heart of a region eager for beer innovation, the centre of a thriving agricultural economy and the epicentre of a celebrated tradition of raw, real artisanal foods. Combie quickly became involved in management of the market while Colin wrapped up his brewing commitments in down under to return to the UK and bring the idea to fruition. Along the way, he headed up brewing at Butcombe Brewery and helped them to the first World Beer Gold medal in their company’s history. But the main event was yet to come.
Fast forward to 2018 and Round Corner Round Corner Brewing has finally launched, having painstakingly converting the Old Sheep Shed of Melton Mowbray’s Agricultural Market into a state-of-the-art brewery that you’ve got to see for yourself. The site boasts an impressive, bespoke 20 HL brew kit that can produce five batches a day, a gorgeous tap-room decorated with the witty installations of artist and friend Mat Kemp and a clear goal to make uncommonly good beer that reflects the unmistakable character of Melton Mowbray, ‘the UK’s rural food capital.’ “We very much see ourselves as a next generation food business, helping to fly the flag for a new crop of local food producers many of whom are based in the market,” says Combie. And with hundreds of thousands of visitors who already come for the town’s celebrated food and drink festivals every year, Round Corner is set to make a big splash.
Launching at Melton’s Victorian Christmas Fayre in 2018, their first batch of Topside Golden Ale got rave reviews from thirsty punters. Visitors to the brewery can see into the brewery from the taproom while enjoying a freshly brewed pint and bar snacks made locally. The tap room is currently open on a Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and beers are £2.50 for a 2/3 pint. Round Corner also offers a refill club enabling beer enthusiasts to take home fresh brews in a gorgeous branded growler. The team is also rapidly making in-roads with pubs in the region including Broods in Leicester and the Geese and Fountain more locally in Croxton Kerrial. One thing is certain -you’ll be seeing a lot more of Round Corner in 2019 and beyond, whether down at the market or at your local – and that is great news for beer lovers in the Midlands and beyond.