Latest News


Welcome to the Brewkery Blog! Here we will keep you updated on everything that is happening at the EQUAL Brewkery! It has been a hard few years for everyone, including the EQUAL Brewkery, but we survived the pandemic and we continue to support and teach people with learning disabilities employability skills, including how to brew beer and bake bread in a safe and caring environment. 



We were lucky enough to be featured on Folk Features website this week. They took the time to tell our story and share how we came to be, head over to their website to read it!


We sold to the Co-op!

9th June 2022

The most exciting news to come out of the EQUAL Brewkery is the recent sale of beer the the Co-op! Keep your eyes peeled if you live in or around Norwich as the 'Golden Ale' will be popping up in your local Co-ops very soon! This has been very exciting for everyone here at the Brewkery and we have loved getting the bottles ready to be shipped out. We have learnt not only how to Brew the Golden ale, but also how to bottle - on our brand new bottling machine!!- how to safely cap the bottles, clean them, label them and box them up. These are excellent transferable skills that can be really useful in a large variety of employment settings. 



Brewkery News July 2019 V3

Latest from the Brewkery, Bottling day today, the Red Rye Ale brewed last week bottled. 100 Litres in 330ml bottles. Good colour, taste bitterness and rye aromas and flavour but will need to let it condition, final gravity 1031 thus ABV of 4.1%. Summer programme worked out too, to brew next week and to redo our first brew of Best Bitter this time with less bittering hops and to use the Hop Rocket for more aroma. Also today rearranged some of our pipe work so now able to sparge without pipes getting in the way and also quick fit connectors on the Hop Rocket.

HOP ROCKET As I have mentioned in previous post we are now using a Hop Rocket at the Brewkery, well I am sure some of you are wondering what is a Hop Rocket. I feel it is appropriate at this time of the 50th Anniversary of the moon landings to say a bit more about the Hop Rocket. The Hop Rocket is made by Blichmann and is used as a means of getting more hop aroma into the beer. This is what they say about it. "The HopRocket™ is an incredibly innovative, feature packed hop infusing tool! Not only can it be used as a hopback, it doubles as an in-line hop infuser (Randalizer) for your beer dispensing system and TRIPLES as an in-line filter*! Definitely cool, and clearly Blichmann - let the HopRocket™ put your hop aroma into orbit!!" Here are a couple of pictures, as you can see called a Rocket because of the shape and from the cut away image the rocket is filled with hops. We are using in the region of 80 to 100 grams and the hot wort straight from the Copper and the wort is pumped through entering in at the top and exiting through the bottom pipe where it is then cooled through the plate chiller and then into the fermenter. So far we have only used it with the Golden ale and initial tasting are that it has worked well, we will see in the next few weeks as it conditions.

Hop RocketHop Rocket

Brewkery Update 2019

Hello Everyone

This will be the year we will be finally up and running (I hope).

Below I have tried to detail some of  what has happened during the last year and what we hope will happen in the near future. Unfortunately our fate and therefore progress is not always in our own hands but I am fortunate that a few committed people have stuck through thick and thin to ensure the project is still moving, if only at a snails' pace at the moment.


We are literally waiting day by day to see if we have been given the lease to run the kitchen  at Independence Matters on Ipswich Road Norwich.

This is a fully equipped kitchen  with an additional room which would provide us with space to brew in. It would also provide us with the responsibility to run the café/shop from the kitchen for the staff and customers at the centre, and thereby provide the Brewkery with an income. 

I originally looked at the kitchen at the beginning of September 2017 and said we would like to take over the lease. However, it still has not been confirmed by Norfolk County Council (Law department) that we are able to become the leaseholder. You may be as puzzled as I am why it has taken so long for the local authority  to make a decision but apparently this, as Tom Jones says -   is not unusual!


In preparation for taking the responsibility for the kitchen I have arranged training through Community Education in Food and Hygiene. This will take place on the mornings January 17th and 24th Wensum Lodge King Street Norwich. We may be able to recruit additional people train and support currently we have 8 people. If you could spare time on these two mornings and would like to join us please let me know.

Help please 

If the lease is approved on the kitchen in the next few days we will have to spend some time cleaning it. Again I am looking for volunteers to join us to provide a deep clean to the kitchen and equipment.

Just for information we visited Fat Cat Brewery last year. Before we get underway with our own brewing  we have tentatively agreed to brew with them, take part of the brew and bottle it.

The brewing will take place with the assistant brewers but we will need additional help in bottling 2000+ bottles - again help would appreciated


I am still attending the School of Social Entrepreneurs in Ipswich once a month -next date this Thursday. If you remember  I was awarded £3,500 to develop the project. I have been allocated a mentor from Lloyds Bank, who is already providing support and help Gareth Morton.

I have less successful in applying for other grants. Turned down by Norwich City Council,Tudor Trust, Awards for All  specifically on that one  because they don't support the production of alcohol. Looking to apply to Bright Ideas in the next few days.

I attended a workshop  on Crowd Funding held by Norwich City Council but at this stage it doesn't seem to be a viable funding stream. Also given we are a registered Community Interest Company the idea is that we generate income through the sale of goods to meet the demands of the Brewkery.

If and when we get the kitchen we can start on our social media campaign to promote what we are doing.

So there we are. Watch out for next installment.


Introducing Equal Brewkery

Equal Brewkery

We are an ambitious not-for-profit community interest company and our key aim is to make and sell great tasting bread and delicious beer. The reason we are different is that our brewers and bakers have learning disabilities. Any surplus we make form the sale of bread and beer will be reinvested into training and support in the Brewkery and promoting employment opportunities for the participants.

All our Directors are local residents, based in Norwich, presenting a wide range of skills and experiences, having all established and supported mainstream and community-based businesses in a variety of industries and services areas. 

The core focus of our work is to enrich and enable the lives of people who experience profound and enduring additional health and social care needs, including facing financial and employment exclusion due to their long-term and at time progressive health status. 

Our services are focused within the communities of Norwich, often working within informal residential and neighbourhood structures, to ensure our provision can provide additional benefits for our members and advantages for their communities. 

We work to build self-confidence and self-esteem, by instilling a sense of self-worth and confidence alongside practical and transferable skills. 

Skills and Experience - Building Confidence 

About us: Equal Brewkery is led by Bill Russell, who presents over 30 years experience of working within primary education, and over 10 years experience in brewing. 

What we are aiming to do

To show that people with learning disabilities can participate fully and contribute to a financially successful and sustainable business.

How will we do it

With the help of volunteers train people with learning disabilities to make brew and bake bread and sell in the Norwich and Norfolk.

Offer routes to employment for people with a learning disability in the beer and baking industry Share our learning with other areas and groups who want to set-up and develop similar companies Promote and publicise our work to help improve awareness and perceptions of people with learning disabilities

It will be

A not-for profit enterprise established for social good Train and promote employment for  people with little or no work experience. Produce high quality products that taste good and have strong branding and appeal to the Public Sell 2,400 bottles and 200 loaves of bread per month , rising to 7,200 bottles and 800 loaves Shared learning about how brewing can offer genuinely attractive jobs for people with learning disabilities.

by Bill