Heath Robinson baked bean labelling machine

We knew we were starting small – after all 15m2 is not a lot of space in which to accommodate a brewery – but it did mean that “off the shelf” brewing equipment just simply didn’t fit our needs.

Baked bean labelling machine

Adaptation is the key – much like the evolution of some of earth’s most extraordinary yet hardy creatures (!) we adapted the equipment to suit our proportions.

The bottling machine was the biggest challenge. We decided long ago that we wanted to stick with 330ml bottles but could find no bottling machine to suit. It took many brews and much spilled beer to come up with the ingenious invention which allowed us to fill 4 bottles simultaneously. Finally, we were anticipating the whole bottling process with a sense of excitement and satisfaction rather than the frustration and angst experienced when the brewery was awash with wasted beer.

Capping was done manually and took some strength and dexterity – neither of which seemed to be my forte – so this was left to Peter alone to manage.

Once filled and capped the bottles had to be labelled – and here again we faced a challenge of how to accomplish this without investing in a hugely expensive and, let’s face it – HUGE labelling machine. Our solution to the problem was manufactured, Blue Peter style, from components including a baked beans can (empty), various bit of plumbing accessories and the odd bit of our children’s cot! Well, it did the job – albeit with an occasional idiosyncratic angle to the label. If you found one like this you’ll know the reason why!