Three former soldiers have joined together to launch their own brewery after they received a grant from the Royal British Legion.
Peter Brady, Vince Stimpson and Ian Bosworth have started the company Copper Kettle Craft Brewery, based at Bencroft Grange just outside Souldrop,
The brewery has been launched as part of the Royal British Legion’s Be Your Own Boss scheme.
Peter, 36, said: “Both myself and Vince used to be in the army and Ian was in the Territorial Army (TA), so were all eligible for this scheme. They basically give out a number of grants to people who have been in the army to help them start up their own business.
“It’s really nice to know there is help out there for people like us. Without their help there’s no way we could have done it, so we’re really grateful to them.
“They are a charity, and it’s fantastic they are using money they raise to help people like us.”
All three men have been home brewers for several years and they decided to combine their separate brewing skills to open the business.
And Ian already runs his own brewing supply business called Copper Kettle Home Brewing.
The brewery currently has four ales called VIP, Cornucopia, Bencroft Best and UXB. And their first seasonal beer, which has been out over Christmas, was called Ned Kelly.
Peter, who also worked at the Ministry of Defence, added: “The pub trade has struggled during the economic downturn, but we did a lot of market research and saw that people actually value original locally-produced ales, rather than your mass-produced beers.
“The high-end of the market is what we are trying to reach, drinkers who appreciate original ales, and we have had really good feedback so far.”