Potbelly Brewery

OUR STORY

OUR STORY

Potbelly Brewery was started 2005 in a leather goods factory in the heart of Kettering. 

As the demand for UK produced belts and handbags was declining the owners (Glenn Morris and Toni Hooper) decided to diversify and turn their passion for beer into a full-time job.  Equipment was sourced and manufactured to build a 10 barrel microbrewery in the corner of the factory. With the building of the fermenting room, the conditioning room, and an additional two cold stores, this took over more and more of the building. As the factory, and staff reduced further, the brewery eventually took over completely with a Function room, and bar with eight working handpumps.  This area is used for brewery tours, which take place every Friday evening and used for the annual beer festival.

The first beer brewed was called Aisling which was a golden 4.0% lightly hopped beer which featured at Leicester Beer Festival to good reviews.  A testament to the quality and taste is the fact it is still brewed today, although to a slightly higher ABV.

To compliment this light delicate ale, Potbelly Best was introduced using four different malts, and Goldings hops to give a traditional flavoured beer (which won best category Northants CAMRA 2015), and “Beijing Black – a smooth mild (Champ Mild at many SIBA and CAMRA festivals).

10 years after the first commercial brew, the original founders wanted to take life a little easier, and their brewer lan Loasby, and colleague Greg Johnson decided to take over the reins.  Still brewing the original beers, several new ones have been added to the repertoire: including “Saint or Sinner, at 6.66%.  This has been highly rated by many CAMRA members, but not as much as “Ambrosia Mild” which was awarded Overall champion at Northampton County Beer Festival 2016. We have up to 12 different ales available at any time, including a certified gluten free beer called “Piggin Saint”.

Things have changed greatly in the last 19 years; a great a many pubs and clubs have sadly shut, and many more micro breweries have been born. With the trend going towards micro pubs, and real craft ale bars, the interest in beers has increased dramatically. This has led to some strange non-conformist brews but whilst we embrace change, we have decided to stick to more traditional, and consistent methods, real hops, water, yeast, and occasionally real fruit.

At the beginning of 2023 we decided to brew a much higher than normal, one off beer called Piggin’ Strong Ale which came out at 13% which was a Dark Golden Amber almost Light Chestnut Ale.  This was enjoyed by most that tasted it and was available at our Summer Beer festival.  We have two regular Beer Festivals each year, the first is mid May, and our second one falls in late autumn.