"The road to Terminus was a long one and somewhere along the line our beer ran out." So says Baz Phillips, who together with brother Graeme, founded The Meanwood Brewery.
He is alluding to the fact that, owing to putting in a number of back-to-back 90-hour weeks, both in the run up to the launch of Terminus in November and immediately after it opened, they were unable to keep up production of their ales.
Logistical issues have now been resolved and so, on Saturday April 13, Meanwood's most illusive bar (it's directly behind The Hungry Bear at the bottom of Stonegate Road, near the Waitrose junction) will re-open with 10 keg beers, 4 cask ales and two sparkling wines.
The 'Re-Terminus' event will also include street food, an art gallery launch, live music, stalls, face painting and a selection of animals courtesy of Meanwood Valley Farm. The pub is family and dog friendly.
However, aside from "taking back the taps" with their own range of cask and keg ales, they will also be launching two sparkling wines, 'Respect Your Elder, Flower' and 'Bazberry Beret' (both 11 per cent) and aimed squarely at the Prosecco market.
"We have food and live music on the night," says father-of-one Baz and we're excited to be launching the sparkling wines."
What's their backstory?
Baz, 35, and Graeme, 37, founded the brewery in December 2016, opening Terminus last year. Baz said: "We were home brewers to start with and just got deep into it, we always wanted to open a small bar in Meanwood. Trying to run the brewery and helping guys manage this place, it became too much. Hopefully, the 90 hour weeks are a thing of the past, although we're not far off it at the moment. We are both just happy with the way things are going. We love this area, this is why we wanted to be here, it's getting better all the time and hopefully we have contributed to that.
"We did everything in the building, it took us months and months to get the brewery and the bar into the position we wanted it. The whole building was ramshackle, it was derelict for about 10 years. So for several months we were just basically grafting."
Did they really run out of beer?
Yes, they ran out of their own beer and had to buy it in from other local breweries. Now, however, they are back with their own lines. Baz says: "We had some beer from our old brewery and we opened with quite a lot of that but sold out within the first few weeks. When we first opened, it was just us manning the bar, we were doing 90-hour weeks. When we ran out, we had to buy beer in from small indie breweries and kept the bar going that way. Now we have a very strong team running the bar."
Their range includes...
Cask ales include Herald Pale Ale (3.9%), Heroic IPA (5%), Black Goddess, an oak-aged porter at 4.9%, while the keg range boasts the likes of Totem, an American brown ale at 6.2 per cent, Shapeshifter (5.1%), Exile, a blackberry crumble Berliner weisse at 3.4%, Pilgrim (6.6%) and Arecibo Message, an American pale at 5.7%.
What's in the future?
Staffing issues resolved, beer stocks replenished, they are now in a much more stable position to move forward with the business. They have even forged a closer link with the neighbouring The Hungry Bear, forming a partnership in which 'The Bear' will supply Sunday Dinners to guests, not a bad prospect given their neighbour's already formidable reputation when it comes to food but throw in the fact Terminus's beer garden is big enough to hold 40 and, if the weather's nice, this could quickly become one of Meanwood's most sought after Sunday sanctuaries.
Baz adds: "We have been blown away by how successful we have been. We've been surprised by the speed with which the word has got out. We have just installed lights over the side street which comes off the main road, so it makes us a lot more visible from. Our beer garden backs onto The Hungry Bear and we have seating for about 40 people."