Steve creates a special brew at Framfield

Steve Wheatley and Jill Turner at new microbrewery in Framfield.
Steve Wheatley and Jill Turner at new microbrewery in Framfield.

THE BEST WAY to start a new business, experts say, is to follow your interests. Horsey ladies open livery stables, techies start software firms so it’s natural for people to appreciate good beer to open their own microbrewery.

Jill Turner and partner Steve Wheatley started the Isfield Brewing Company which launched its first beer at the Laughing Fish pub on June 16. Steve started by brewing beer in a shed at the bottom of his garden and it was his long-held ambition to upgrade his interest by putting the business on a commercial footing.

He refurbished a five-barrel brewing plant in rural Framfield. He’s currently brewing an Imperial Pale Ale but hopes shortly to launch a blonde beer in time for summer tippling. His IPA is being sold at the Laughing Fish but should soon be extended to other outlets.

Steve said: “I have been doing this as a hobby for as long as I can remember. We moved here eight years ago and I started off in the shed. There’s a real resurgence of microbreweries in the area – people seem to want local food and they want local beer and wine to go with it.” Steve’s other job is management consultancy and Jill handles the administration and marketing.