John Hickling worked in IT for a bank. The money was good, but he had a desire to create something more than spreadsheets.
As a beer fanatic, he decided to try brewing his own. He built a tiny brewery in his kitchen with plastic buckets and parts from a hardware store. Brewing beer was a revelation.
His friends agreed the beer he made at home was better than they could buy in the pub, and he dreamed of turning his passion into a business.
Inspired, he quit his job, sold his house and co-founded his first brewery in 2008. The awards soon rolled in, and the brewery was a storming success.
After five years, he felt he had taken the business as far as he could. He sold his stake in the brewery, and started thinking about new projects.
But he had a problem: he desperately missed brewing. It took selling his first brewery for him to realise that brewing was never just a job, it was his vocation.
He decided to start from scratch and apply all the accumulated knowledge he’d gained at his first brewery into something and somewhere new.
In 2015 Vocation Brewery was born, with one member of staff, a rebuilt chicken shed, and a dog for company.
Today we have around 60 staff, and sell the equivalent of 10 million cans per year.
We’ve come a long way, but it’s still our vocation.