Nottingham graduates set to launch new craft lager

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Former Nottingham Trent University students and business partners, Al Squires and Will Barratt of Just BS creative agency, are launching a new independent lager, which they hope will be able to take on the big multinational brands.

After trialling the product whilst running their bar project, the pair are launching Hockley Brew Co’s first product, Hockley Helles 4% Lager.

Whilst finishing their final year of university, Barratt and Squires recently completed their first major project, the transformation of Wolf Italian Street Food restaurant on Market Street into a fully operational cocktail bar called Code 34. It was during this project that the pair recognised there was plenty of independent craft ale, but no Nottingham brewery offered a lager. They initially trialled Hockley Helles at Code 34 in April and it was a resounding success, proving hugely popular. The team have now begun pushing the lager across Nottingham’s independents and Hockley Helles is already available in close to 20 venues across the city.

Squires said: “After such a successful launch of Code 34, we are excited to continue our entrepreneurial endeavours with this new brand. Nottingham is a fantastic city with some of the best independent and creative businesses and our mission with Hockley Brew Co is to champion that creative spirit with a unique new product. We were tired of seeing the same lagers in every bar and wanted to develop a brand that we could relate to. The lager market is dominated by big brands that are owned by some of the biggest global companies. We’re entering a tough market, but we know consumers want something different and independent.”

Barratt added: “Hockley is currently being contract brewed but the ambition is to raise funds and invest in our own purpose-built lager brewery and tap, with key fundamentals of being sustainable, creating local jobs and keeping out the big boys. Independently owned, Hockley Brew Co embodies all things Hockley, from its creative and innovative core, through to its focus upon championing community and supporting local businesses.”

The lager is currently available on draught to the on-trade in 50 litre kegs, with the view to rolling out cans and bottles imminently.