Founder and brewer, Daryl, learnt how to brew during his travels Down Under, combining this with his engineering skills to build a bespoke brewing system and set up business in 2011. Success and expansion of the wholesale business led to us opening our brew bar Unit One in 2016, where we retail our own and other craft beer, along with food.
Our Location – West Hythe
The brewery and bar are both at the Riverside Craft and Business Centre in West Hythe. We’re in a fantastic position next to the Royal Military Canal, on an estate with other independent businesses. Unusually for an industrial estate, we get passing trade, which has been a huge boost for the bar.
Advantages of our location
Daryl has called Folkestone home since leaving school and wanted to set up a business nearby. Folkestone and the surrounding areas have a vibrant food and drink culture, which makes it fun to live in and great for business too.
The wealth of new, independent, small businesses has been supported by significant investment; more shops mean more people and more people mean more shops. We’re part of that positive shift forward.
We took on an apprentice in 2013, with funding from Shepway, KCC and central government. This was really successful and would be something we’d consider doing again.
We get relief on our business rates because of the size of our premises. Without it our rent would be double, so it’s a real help.
Other support and networking
We got help from Shepway to convert Unit One from an industrial to a retail classification, and then to get a licence.
We’ve attended a trade fair in Belgium; exporting is something we’d like to consider in the future. The next step will be bottling our beer, so watch out for that.
Advice to start-ups
Get the product right – make sure there’s a demand for it and get the quality right.
Even if you get help with your finances, make sure you know what money’s going in and out of the business, and stay on top of it.