Kimberley lads keen to keep spirit of town's history alive with new craft ale shop

Two best friends who grew up together in Kimberley have fulfilled their united dreams and opened a brand new beer shop in the town.

By Lucy Roberts
Tuesday, 12th April 2022, 2:54 pm
Co-owner Ash Allcock inside the new Kimberley Craft Ales store in James Street.
Co-owner Ash Allcock inside the new Kimberley Craft Ales store in James Street.

The new Kimberley Craft Ales store, which has just opened on James Street, is a joint venture by childhood friends Joe Artuch and Ash Allcock.

Offering a selection of more than 80 different bottles and cans to take away, the business aims to keep the town’s long history of brewing alive while introducing customers to the more modern craft beer scene.

The store’s logo is a nod to the old Kimberley Brewery, where Joe’s father used to work.

There are more than 80 different bottles and cans on offer inside the new shop.

Joe, 38, said: “That’s why we called it Kimberley Craft Ales and the logo is a nod back to the old brewery, we’ve just tweaked it to make it a bit more modern.

“My dad used to work for the brewery years ago and it was a shame to see it go.”

Joe and Ash, who met as teenagers at Kimberley Comprehensive School and later went on to be best man at each other’s weddings, decided to start up the shop after inspiration struck during the pandemic.

Joe said: “It is something we’ve been talking about for a few years now.

Kimberley Craft Ales is located on James Street, next to the Olde English Chippy.

“My cousin, who also lives in Kimberley, is a commercial brewer and he got us into the craft ale scene. We originally tried brewing ourselves but we weren’t very good!

“Then during lockdown we both got a bit bored with the humdrum of the daily job and the opportunity came up with this shop. So we thought let’s just give it a go – why not?”

The growing selection on offer includes beers from many local breweries, including Magpie, Lenton Lane and the Hucknall-based brewery Lincoln Green.

“We’re trying to keep a good mix, so one half of the shop is real ale and the other half is craft,” Joe said.

“With the ales there are traditionals, stouts and IPAs etc, and then on the craft side is where you get the more funky ones like apple pie flavour and other weird and wonderful things.

“We try to give people honest advice and talk them through the beers.

“When anyone comes in we ask them what kind of stuff they usually like, whether they’re worried about percentage, and we can normally narrow it down to about four or five they can choose from.

“Ideally in the future, we’d like to create a place where we can sell the beers and people can sit in and have a drink in as well."

Since the new shop opened two weeks ago, business has already been booming. The pair also hosted a stall at Kimberley Food Fest last month, which was a success.

Joe said: “It was mad at the festival, we did really well. Eventually we hope to be able to do pop-ups at other events as well as having the shop.

“Every week we’re having to restock the shelves so it’s going well so far. Friday nights are rammed. It’s right next to the chippy, so people can pop in and grab a few beers at the same time.

“All of the other nearby businesses have been really nice too, helping out and encouraging us.

“Kimberley has always had a village kind of feel to it and it's nice to see that continuing in this day and age.”

Ash and Joe are running the new business alongside their usual day jobs, opening the shop on evenings and weekends.

“We’re just working it around ourselves really and having a bit of fun with it,” Joe said.

“We’re not expecting to become millionaires, it’s just something that we have a passion for and enjoy talking about.

"It’s nice to have a natter, especially after working from home for two-and-a-half years. I’m a social butterfly so I’ve missed the human interaction – it’s great to meet new people.”

Kimberley Craft Ales is open most Thursday and Friday evenings until 8pm, and all day on Saturdays from 12pm until 8pm.

Follow their Facebook page here for up-to-date information on opening times and beer selection.

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