Little Star Brewery
Shipstone’s beers are brewed at the Little Star Brewery, a 12 barrel micro brewery in Old Basford just a stones throw from the Star Brewery where it all began. Linked to the brewery is the brewery tap The Fox & Crown where you can sample our range of beers. This pub was once a Shipstone’s Pub so we have a real connection to the place and to the area putting the soul back into Shipstone’s.
I started in the brewing industry in 1997 with Whitbread Beer Company, and stayed with the same company for 18 years. I worked in a variety of different roles, and though a few mergers and acquisitions – finally working for the world’s largest brewer – AB-InBev.
I left AB-InBev to set up Shipstone’s Beer Company at the end of March 2013, and have my fingers crossed that people like what I am doing.
Emily joined the team in 2015 and is the head of the family. She started in sales and has now moved into brewing. She has to understand everything in the finest details and always ask a million questions and is the sponge of all information. Not all of it relevant. She challes the norm and pushes boundaries.
She loves her beer and her favourite pint is Nut Brown.
James joins the team in 2018. He is a qualified brewer with a background in Microbiology. He has a passion for craft beer and home brews on a regular basis. He has also run his own small business so adds lots of great qualities to our team.
His favourite beer is Gold Star Pale Ale
It all started back in 2007 when I was working in buying at InBev. I was looking after the purchasing and sales of other brewer’s brands which included cask ales. Visiting all the fantastic breweries all over the country, I learned so much about the heritage of English Ales and how many family brewers were still going strong. I also started to understand how many breweries had been bought up and then closed down through mass brewery consolidation. Many breweries were purchased by companies for their valuable pub chains and retail outlets than for their beers and this made me look into what had happened to the famous brewers of Nottingham. bI started to understand that James Shipstone’s & Sons had been one of those companies. It was sold out to Greenall’s in 1978, and then closed down in 1990.
I then decided to track down the owners of the Shipstone’s brand by looking on the Intellectual Property Website for Trade Marks, and found that it was owned by Scottish & Newcastle (now Heineken). I made some enquiries which then led me to purchase the Trade Mark and brand rights.
I was then going to get straight on with bringing this great brand back, but one thing after the next got in the way. Until 18 months ago I set myself a goal, if I didn’t do it now, it was never going to happen, so I think I had a mid life crisis and forged on.
I had done lots of research and lots of fact finding. Hours spent with my head down in books and paperwork from the Shipstone’s archives, looking back into the original malt and hop ledgers. Tracking down ingredients which dated back to when the Shipstone family were still at the helm. Richard
Then I found Colin Brown an ex-James Shipstone’s & Sons brewer, and he had the expertise and essential Shipstones experience to develop a beer that represented the heritage behind the name, a beer that tasted fantastic and a beer the brought back fond memories of good times. Colin was able to tell me what it was like working at the Star Brewery in Basford and was able to brew the Shipstone’s Bitter as close to the original as possible.
I thought I was pretty much there until I got into the detail of label design, web design, barcodes, point of sale systems, finance systems, warehousing systems and processes and the list could go on and on; every new task list was valuable however small or large.