Brewers John and Jess sitting on a Powderkeg!

PUBLISHED: 10:00 04 January 2017

John Magill of Powderkeg Brewery. Ref exe 47-16TI 2299. Picture: Terry Ife

John Magill of Powderkeg Brewery. Ref exe 47-16TI 2299. Picture: Terry Ife

Archant

Having had enough of his career as a market researcher, John Magill, 40, decided in 2015, along wife his wife Jess, 42, to open a ‘modern English’ micro-brewery in the heart of Woodbury Salterton.

John and Jess Magill of Powderkeg Brewery. Ref exe 47-16TI 2283. Picture: Terry IfeJohn and Jess Magill of Powderkeg Brewery. Ref exe 47-16TI 2283. Picture: Terry Ife

Fast forward to 2016, their brewery, Powderkeg, can boast being the producer of one of the best lagers in the world.

John and Jess’s Cut Loose Pilsner, described as ‘one of the 16 best beers in the world’, scooped the best lager title at the International Wine and Spirits Awards.

The couple said when they moved to Devon five years ago they found that the variety of beer in the area was limited and felt there was scope to develop.

John, of Ashford Road, Topsham, said: “We feel like we are moving Devon beers forward a bit with the flavour changing.

John and Jess Magill of Powderkeg Brewery. Ref exe 47-16TI 2281. Picture: Terry IfeJohn and Jess Magill of Powderkeg Brewery. Ref exe 47-16TI 2281. Picture: Terry Ife

“Devon beer was a little bit off, so we thought we would give it a little kick.

“When we started planning the business, it was when craft beer, a new type of beer, was becoming mainstream and it was a good opportunity to start brewing it.”

Powderkeg distributes its own brewed pilsner and Speak Easy beers to Exmouth, Sidmouth, Crediton and Plymouth.

Remembering his decision to set up in business, John said: “I had a degree in micro biology going to waste. I was either going to make cheese or beer, that was the decision.

John Magill of Powderkeg Brewery. Ref exe 47-16TI 2265. Picture: Terry IfeJohn Magill of Powderkeg Brewery. Ref exe 47-16TI 2265. Picture: Terry Ife

“We didn’t have any major amount of money, so we had to convince a lot of people to loan us money.”

Now looking to expand the business by adding a dry room and more brewery tanks, John and Jess are having the time of their lives, being their own bosses.

John said: “It is great to have the autonomy and make it happen. We are probably working harder than we ever have, but wouldn’t change it.”

Jess said: “It’s a great feeling running your own business. It is hard work when you have two kids, but it is a good feeling.”


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