The weather is glorious when I step off the two-carriage train at Caersws in the heart of rural Wales. It has been along journey, and I am in need of a drink. John Martin, a 45-yearold procurement consultant, has driven to the station to collect me. He is wearing a Tshirt with a “Waen Brewery” logo, but the brewery is not his business. It belongs to his wife, Sue Hayward.
The Waen Brewery is an astonishing story of success. Sue, a hobbyist beer maker, founded it in 2009, and within three years it had tripled in size in terms of output, turnover and physical space. The brewery occupies 2,000 sq ft and produces 540 gallons of beer per week. As we bounce along country lanes, John explains that this output is still nowhere near enough to meet demand. Sue has just invested £30,000 in new brewing equipment, which will increase the beer production capacity threefold.
In the brewery’s large warehouse space there is a bar at one end, and wooden vats bubbling everywhere. Sue is standing behind the bar when we arrive; she catches my eye, and I see that she has already started pulling my pint. Around her are several other women sitting on bar stools, all of whom run breweries up and down the country. I have been allowed to attend a secret meeting of an underground group of female beer brewers – or “brewsters”, as they like to be called – which meets every few weeks to share recipes and techniques. The group, organised on social networking sites, is known as Project Venus. Continue reading on the Telegraph website