Iain: “I don’t brew ale to become a millionaire.”

By Tom Wood

Iain Kenny, who started stacking shelves in an off-license at 16, has created his own brewery under Sheffield’s railway arches.

Iain, 31, has been making beer since he studied Brewing and Distilling at Harriot Watt University in Edinburgh. He returned to Sheffield to work at Kelham Island Brewery before deciding to brew his own beer called North Union.

“I don’t know anything else. This is what I do, this is what I think about when I get up in the morning. I like football too and I have a family, but I enjoy beer.”

The North Union Brewery can be found under the railway arches on Sussex Street and Iain believes that the tall, bricked building defines what his beer is about.

“It’s down to earth, it’s old meets new, it’s made in Sheffield and we want to sell it to the people of Sheffield.”

As Iain brews everything himself, he works long hours to keep his business going. He will get to his brewery at six o’clock in the morning and works ten hours each day.

“The other day I was sat on the sofa and I had loads of paperwork to do at half ten at night. I was thinking, I bet the other bigger breweries are sitting with their feet up with a beer and watching the football.”

Iain works over ten hours a day

The local brewery produces four types of beer which Iain creates from scratch. These include pale ale, craft amber, IPA and Belgian dubble. However, Iain said he is looking into making coffee flavoured beer and a white chocolate beer in the future.

“I am trying to make accessible craft beer so you aren’t going to get something that I have fermented through a squirrel’s backside like in some other breweries, but the market is driven by something new all the time.”

Iain knows its early days but North Union beer is already in demand across the country.

“The chances of becoming a multi-millionaire in this is pretty slim but we can dream.”



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