“A love of brewing has to come from a love of beer”: we talk opening a brewery

“A love of brewing has to come from a love of beer”: we talk opening a brewery

Founded in 2017 by Aron McMahon and Cameron Brown, the team at Turning Point describe their aim as ‘very simple’: to make their favourite beers and have as much fun as possible.

Spending the first year learning the ropes, shaping the business, and getting a feel for the industry, Turning Point have since grown to a team of 5, hoping to expand even further ahead of their 3rdbirthday. We have a feeling their recent win in We Are Beer’s Raise The Bar competition will definitely help. Ahead of their appearance at the upcoming London Craft Beer Festival we grabbed Cameron for a chat.

On how this all came about:

– It seems obvious but a love of brewing has to come from a love of beer. I ran a pub in York, the Falcon Tap, where we were showcasing as many unique beers as possible. Having my pick of beer from around the UK, the US, and Europe made everyday a beer festival and I started to delve deeper into the brewing process, renewing a homebrewing interest I’d had a few years prior. Aron was working for a local brewery which supplied the pub, sando we met and became good friends. The rest is history!

On what makes their brewery different:

– We’re beer geeks through and through, and we’re not ashamed to admit we get very excited about our own beers; you can usually find the whole team at the Fossgate Tap (our taproom residency in York) on any given Saturday. We brew the beers for ourselves, exactly as WE want them, and just hope that others enjoy them as much as we do. That, and we regularly listen to the Wombles whilst brewing.

On their favourite Turning Point label art:

– The can design for Space Ritual is the start of a story through our artwork of an Armadillo on another planet, worshipped by hop people who just happen to have crash landed on his turf.

On the dream flavour they’re trying to nail:

– Such a tough one to get right but we’ve had a hankering to combine mango and habanero. Founders do a beautiful beer called Mango Magnifico, so we’d love to do a twist on something like that.

On their desert island beer:

Cam: Rooster’s Yankee.
Aron: Turning Point Disco King!
Luke: Other Half Double Sunset

On the next big beer trend:

– I think the next big thing is a bit of back to basics – the last few years have pushed flavour profiles to the extremes – which is great and we love to do that! – but I think doing a classic style well, with no compromise on ingredients, will play a big part in shaping the industry over the next few years.

We’re beer geeks through and through, and we’re not ashamed to admit we get very excited about our own beers.

On winning Raise The Bar:

– Raise The Bar been a hoot! We hadn’t really entered competitions before, but Luke filled in the form and sent off the beers we had in stock. We’ve noticed some extra momentum from the festivals, and some new trade in London since. Winning was incredibly flattering news!

On their advice for wannabe brewers thinking about next year’s competition:

– Enter beer you’re proud of, and cross everything!

On Zettle:

– One of the things that first drew us to Zettle was the incredibly low cost of entry with no subscription cost. This appealed to us as we were looking for a solution for occasionally taking card payments for walk-in sales (we’re in the middle of nowhere currently, so we weren’t expecting a queue!). We now use the Zettle card reader for all of our beer festival bars, and will eventually use it for our tap room or bar when the time comes.

On the parts of Zettle they’ve found most useful:

– Ease of use! It’s so easy to plug in and get going. There’s no real training required, so all of us could use it from day one. Equally the portability, so we can take our card reader out in the van to accept card payments for trade deliveries.

On the upcoming London Craft Beer Festival:

– The London Craft Beer Festival our first time pouring at a festival in London, so we’re really looking forward to meeting new people, and hopefully leave them with an appetite for more Turning Point beer!

What is Raise the Bar?
Alongside Dig Brew, Vault City and Mothership, Turning Point are winners of Raise The Bar, We Are Beer’s annual competition looking for the best up and coming new breweries in the UK. The prize includes the complete Zettle iPad POS system, complete with everything a brewery needs to get their taproom off the ground, as well as pride of place at the London Craft Beer Festival, sponsored by Zettle, from 9-11th August.