A LONG-running home brewing shop in Gornal has undergone a makeover during lockdown and is looking forward to opening an onsite taproom later this year.
Harris Home Brew has been a mainstay in Lower Gornal since it began life in the village as a filtration business in the 1970s and has been key to the home brewing scene in Gornal and the wider Black Country.
Now, the company has launched a rebrand under the name Dark Rock Brewing and has overhauled its shop with a £50k refurb.
Robert Harris, whose father Bob launched the business following a career as a nuclear scientist, said the rebrand is the start of a new era for the company.
It comes as Robert’s son James is taking on the company’s brewing operation to create their own range of craft beers, in a bid to close the gap between craft brewers and the home brewing scene.
Dark Rock Brewing even plan to open a taproom at their Zoar Street site so people can sit and enjoy a pint while getting tips on how to start brewing at home.
James, who developed the brand while studying entrepreneurship at Worcester University, said: “Home brewing had a stigma for being old fashioned but we want this brand to modernise it.
“We want to bridge the gap between craft beer and home brewing and bring the two together.”
The taproom will feature Dark Rock Brewing’s own beers and will provide a chance for people to learn how to make the same styles at home with the kit available in the shop, a feature James says is not usually found in brewery taprooms.
Dark Rock Brewing create a host of beer styles but specialise in hoppy pale ales, which James hopes to supply to local pubs and festivals, while stocking a large number of home brew kits in their newly refurbished shop.
James added: “Brewing is really big in Gornal, you have the Bulls Head pub opposite, our place. It will be a great pub crawl and we are right on a bus route.”
The 22-year-old was crowned entrepreneur of the year at Worcester Business School for the strength of his work developing Dark Rock Brewing, but says his biggest inspirations for brewing are his dad and grandad, who have both grown the company over the decades.