Experts by Experience: Profiles of entrepreneurs at different stages on their journeys, identifying and sharing some universal truths along the way.
Brendan Moore’s professional association with beer is a story of three halves. First there was the dream, then came some hard business lessons and, more recently, Brendan has realised a new dream; to have a job with lunch breaks.
After a trip to the Iceni Brewery in Norfolk to interview its founder and brewer-in-chief Brendan Moore – who wasn’t actually there – I end up talking to him on Skype. If he finds the technology an effort, Brendan certainly isn’t constrained in telling me how he first got into brewing – a story I’ve since related to many others, over a pint of course.
“I was working in the food industry in Cambridge and we were to be made redundant but we knew we’d get a good redundancy package. I had time to think about what I would do next and I went home and dreamed – literally – of having a brewery!
The more I looked into it – I went to a couple of breweries that told me how they’d done it – the more it all seemed quite possible. It was also a good thing that when I told my wife about my dream she supported and encouraged me.
Our next door neighbours told us later that they worried about us because, in 1995 when I started, people weren’t doing that sort of thing as often as they are now. They thought it was a very risky thing to be doing.”
I was intrigued to know why Brendan has chosen East Anglia for his new venture.
“We did geography in Northern Ireland but it was mainly the geography of England for the English exam system. When we were studying East Anglia, it was easy for me to draw it – that big bulge – so I swatted up on that part of the country. I also thought it would be a nice rural area to be in – just like my background in Northern Ireland. I later discovered that the malt barley is excellent so it seemed to be the ideal place to brew in Britain”.
To find out what happened next in Brendan’s entrepreneurial journey, follow this ‘Enterprise Essentials’ blog.
For a cartoon telling of Brendan’s dream go to www.icenibrewery.co.uk/history.asp