Some history of Beat Brewery of Lye in the county of Worcestershire.
The story of this brewery started at the North Curry Brewery on Church Road in North Curry, Somerset. Each of the beers carried a music theme as the owners were passionate about beer and music. Changing the name to Beat Ales, the original recipes were named Cosmic Pop, Funk, Metal Head and Raver.
I believe it all started in 2006 with the first commercial brews by North Curry appearing in March of the following year. The brewer was Peter Pike and he operated the business with his brother-in-law Pete Bennett, along with his son Henry who did some marketing work. They started by selling beers at weekly farmers' markets around Taunton and Minehead, along with supplying a number of independent shops.
In July 2018 Beat Brewery was purchased by Topcat Brewery Limited and was relocated at Lye on the Forge Trading Estate. Great news for us in the Black Country. We used to nip into the brewery tap on the way home from cycle rides. The bar was run by a young woman named Jenny and assisted by a young chap called Toby. This was before he joined the Royal Air Force. Anyway, Jenny told us that her partner Chris was the brewer. He worked for the people who bought the brewery. I think they owned an engineering firm. He was a keen home-brewer and used to bring his latest creations for workmates to sample. They were impressed and he became the brewer, working with the recipes created by the Somerset crew.
The early beers were vegan-friendly which was even better news for us. The brewery claimed that "All the core beers were completely natural and suitable for vegans, with no isinglass finings." Each of the beers we tasted were tremendous. Well on draught or keg that is. The bottled products were a bit flat for our liking. But in the tap the ales were great - we generally did the card! Then Covid hit and everything went tits up. The brewery enlarged the brewery tap during the lockdown as they wanted more space to host some rather dodgy live music events - some of the stuff being played did not adhere to the brewery's philosophy of combining good beer with good music.
When we finally started visiting pubs again, the enlarged premises of Beat Brewery seemed like a good choice for a bit of drinking space. However, one sight of our bikes and we were given our marching orders. I mean, it is a factory unit and there were only about five people in there. Apparently dogs were welcome but not cyclists! We pedalled up the road to Stambermill where we were made to feel welcome at the Green Duck Brewery. Accordingly, we helped to fill up their cash register. As we cycled home I vowed I would never go back to Beat Brewery which was a pity as the beer was so good, particularly the Cosmic Pop. It was never very busy early doors so why they turned away customers is most bizarre. So, we never did get to drink there again because, in November 2022, the place suddenly closed in weird circumstances. It sounded like there was a new owner but the employees were locked out in a sudden closure [see newspaper article].
"The landlords of a popular Lye brewery which has closed due to "unforeseen circumstances" say talks are continuing and if the
venture can be saved they would support that. Beat Brewery announced on its Facebook page on October 28th that the microbrewery and taproom were closed "at the
moment due to unforeseen circumstances and not sure when we will be able to reopen." The notice added: "We will keep you posted as soon as we know more.
Sorry to let you all down for this weekend." Meanwhile, the Stourbridge & Halesowen branch of CAMRA has reported that when staff arrived onsite on the morning
of October 28th they found official notices taped to all doors of the premises confirming the landlord had re-entered the premises, under clause 32 of the lease,
and as a consequence the lease was forfeited and the premises have been secured. Stourbridge & Halesowen CAMRA press officer Steve Pratt described the situation
as "very worrying" for the small team of "hard-working and dedicated staff" at the brewery, located on the Old Forge Trading Estate, off Dudley
Road, and he added: "The Saturday night live-music events were particularly popular and their beers were also enjoyed by customers near and far." A
further note posted on the Beat Brewery's Facebook page on October 29th thanked people for their messages and comments of support and added: "Hopefully
we can give you some news over the coming weeks." Meanwhile, CAMRA said it would be trying to make contact with the new owner who took over the microbrewery in
the summer. Landlords Folks Properties would not go into detail about what had happened but a spokesperson for the company, which rents out many commercial properties
in the area, said: "We are continuing discussions with the former tenant regarding the situation, although unfortunately we cannot comment on the nature of
those discussions at this moment in time. "Beat Brewery is very popular with the local community and so if it can be saved then certainly that is something we
fully support." Former manager of Beat Brewery, Rachel Hunt, confirmed all staff had been notified that they were being made redundant and she added: "All
our staff and customers were fantastic, we would like to think that some honest person can pick this up so we can start again." The brewery started out in Somerset
and in July 2018 it was bought out by Topcat Brewery Limited and relocated to Lye, where the taproom was expanded in 2021 much to the delight of ale fans. In July
2022 a London-based businessman was appointed as director of the company and neighbouring business R:M Metal Finishing."
"Talks continue after closure of Beat Brewery in Lye"
by Bev Holder in Stourbridge News
November 16th 2022