12th June marks the end of an era, and a fresh start, for Crewe’s award winning Offbeat Brewery as owner, Michelle Shipman, hands over the keys after 7 years.
Michelle says, “I’ve reached the point where I need to put myself first and work on improving my type 1 diabetes. I’ve been thinking it’s too much for me for a while and I was so delighted when Sean and Jacqui Ayling approached me over it. I regard them as friends and Sean is a fantastic brewer who’s beers are going to go down very well.
For now, my plans don’t go any further than planning a big leaving party on 1st and 2nd of June, I’ll definitely back ‘on the other side of the bar’ for a beer when everything has changed over, after all, it’s where all of my friends drink! “
The microbrewery is going to be in very safe hands and will be reopening as ‘Tom’s Tap and Brewhouse’. Sean is currently Head Brewer at Kent based Pig and Porter, and he & Jacqui are well known in the North West, having represented the brewery at many events in and around Manchester.
Sean commented: “It was when Jacqui and I were representing Pig and Porter at this year’s Manchester Beer and Cider Festival that we first heard that Michelle was putting Offbeat Brewery and Taproom up for sale. As we sat in a pizza restaurant after a busy Wednesday trade session we talked about whether or not we could buy it. At the time it felt more like daydreaming than reality.”
Jacqui, who will be running the taproom side of the business, added: “Although Kent might seem a distance away we have family that live in Nantwich which was a major factor in deciding to make the leap.”
“We’ve been friends of Michelle and fans of her beers for many years and, whilst it’s sad that she’s selling up, we completely understand the reasons she’s done it and we’re delighted to have the opportunity to brew some exciting new beers and make new friends.”
“We’re looking forward to opening our doors on 14th June.”