My name is Alan Greenwood and in November 1974 the British brewing industry was undergoing enormous changes. It was then that I started a business called Alan Greenwood’s Beer Agency and this became a major contribution to the modern Real Ale Revival.
At the time six brewers: Charrington’s, Allied Breweries, Watney's, Courage, S&N and Whitbread’s were snapping up all the smaller breweries in a competitive frenzy. ‘Big is Beautiful’ was both the business and political message of the day.
The result may have been a vibrant industry, but it was losing so much of its tradition and history. I was fascinated and wanted to be part of it before it all died.
The problem was how, the brewing trade then was a closed shop. I then discovered that there was such a thing as a 5 Barrel pilot brewing plant. I thought, if I could get one of those it would be a practical and first step towards having my own brewery, but where would I sell my beers? Nearly all the pubs then were already tied to the brewers.