The STEAM MACHINE was founded by husband and wife Nick & Gulen. With a home brewing background of over ten years, they were no strangers to brewing, and Nick especially as a science teacher had always been fascinated by the chemical and biological processes behind brewing.
Inspired by the International Craft Beer Revolution, and by the exciting New World beers and wines the couple sampled whilst touring the world, Nick & Gulen were eager to create beers to satisfy their extended taste palates and to share them with others.
Having launched in the summer of 2015 in Nick’s industrial North East hometown of Newton Aycliffe, they have an ever-expanding team of dedicated enthusiasts, they have scaled up production six fold since starting, have moved and expanded premises, welcomed hundreds of visitors on their open weekends, and are set to launch their first dedicated Brewery Tap as the year goes on…
BUILDING THE STEAM MACHINE
By Nick Smith, Co-founder
The sun was setting on another whimsical Guernsey summer. The sea was getting cooler, the damp was starting to creep up the walls, and we were preparing for another long season on a small island. It would be many months before we’d be able to frolic in the waves and eat picnics with fond friends on the beach.
Whilst this island lifestyle was attractive, Gulen and I were fast realising that this wasn’t how we wanted to live the rest of our lives. We’d had a taste of adventure whilst travelling, where we’d also sampled some of the best beers and wines of the New World. Neither of us was content, and in those long cold months a dream was born:
To build a craft brewery showcasing bold-flavoured beers. To experiment with new ingredients. To produce strong premium beers, inspired by extinct British ales, as well as other modern styles available elsewhere in the world, and to utilise varied homebrewing techniques not often used commercially by most microbreweries.
Of course, whilst we planned back in the winter of 2012, we realised the craft beer revolution had already started. New breweries – also inspired by the American market – were burgeoning in London and other cultural metropolises.
Looking back to my native County Durham though, it was quickly apparent that the craft beer revolution hadn’t really happened up there yet. We decided to fill the gap. Sad and fond farewells to friends and colleagues followed, and we plunged ourselves homeless and jobless into a changing North East England.
It took a while to get off the ground (understatement!) but we finally launched in the summer of 2015 with three beers in KeyKeg that made quite a statement: Double IPA 9.6%, Afternoon Tea 6.5%, and San Franciscan Steam 5.2% (not a cask bitter in sight…). We quickly built a local reputation for being something a bit different, and the quality of our bold brews earned us national attention.
Two years on and we are still working harder than ever; at the time of writing we are ranked on Untappd as the 24th top brewery in England, and the highest rated in the North East (only one other makes it onto the list). We have grown into our second premises, increased production by silly numbers, and now welcome hundreds of people to Steam Machine each weekend to sample our vision of craft beer.
We have now moved into canning our beers, which in turn has seen our beers travel even further around the country on a weekly basis.
Looking to the future, we are continuing to grow organically, both our brand and the great team that works so hard with us, and we are constantly experimenting to further develop great tasting premium beers. It'll be fun to see what happens next...
©The Steam Machine Brewing Co. Established 2015