Brewhouse & Kitchen (B&K) is launching a £1m brewpub in the centre of Milton Keynes today, and is in negotiations for six new venues, according to managing director Simon Bunn.
The new venue, a former Wetherspoons, spans 6,300 sq ft across three fours and is located on ‘12th Street,’ a central area of Milton Keynes devoted to food and drink. It is the company’s 19th pub; the first opened in Portsmouth in 2013.
Brewing takes centre stage, with the Chinese-made equipment in the centre of the vast main room; fermenters are on an elevated platform a few metres above the brew kit. Brewer Liam Ager, 29, previously worked at Otter Brewery in Devon.
'A lot of people will tell you that brewpubs don’t work, but they’re not doing it right,' said Bunn. 'They stick the brewery out the back or downstairs. They’ll train the manager to brew and they’ll do it once a week or every couple of weeks. We’ve got our brewery on show, we’ve got a brewer on every site.'
One of the biggest expenses is a £200,000 function room that has been added on the top floor of the building. The company raised £15m last year to fund this current expansion phase.
Until now, Brewhouse & Kitchen sites have had eight cask ales on offer, but there’ll now be four cask and four keg ales, a reflection of a changing market, with Milton Keynes the first to make the switch. The keg beers will be APA, Oatmeal Stout, Lager (brewed for B&K by Shepherd Neame) and a rotating special, called ‘Brewer’s Choice’.