A NEW microbrewery taproom is about to open in Warrington.

Modern Day Monks – run by two brothers who went to Bridgewater High – will be launching their craft beer venue in Evans House tomorrow, Friday.

Visitors will see the brew kit as they head through the doors and then they can go for a beer upstairs, directly above where it is made.

Jon Waldron-Swift, who runs Modern Day Monks with his brother Jim, said: “People can come in and experience the sights and smells of the brewery.

“Now more than ever people are interested in where things come from – especially food and drink.

Beer fresh from the source

Beer fresh from the source

“We’re happy to show people what we do and then the beer can be be enjoyed right here so it doesn’t really get fresher than that.

“We want people to be able to see the process the beer goes through to get the texture and flavour right so when they’re up here they might appreciate it in a different way.”

The brothers got the opportunity to learn how to brew at D’Oude Maalderij in West Flanders, Belgium, about five years ago, under the guidance of Jef Pirens.

Jon added: “The name Modern Day Monks comes from Belgium as we’re taking old brewing techniques and bringing them back here. We learnt all of what we do now from a friend of ours called Jef who lives in a place called Koolskamp. He makes some really nice beers that continue to inspire us.

"We also brewed with Brouwerij Alvinne which makes some really good sour beers. We actually did 24 hours of brewing there so we did five or six beers in one day.”

The taproom is directly above the brewery

The taproom is directly above the brewery

Further ‘beer research’ in Barcelona and Sweden cemented their desire to start brewing themselves.

So in 2018 the pair made their first beer – a stout called Decent Damp – using a tiny 50-litre kit, which is now been placed above the entrance to their new brewery as a keepsake.

Their first beers were bottled by hand. At that point, the brewery was based in converted stables in Hobb Lane, Daresbury.

They were then given a hand by Bill Carr, who runs the Warrington digital agency Carpe Diem, to take the venture to the next level.

Chester Road resident Jon said: “People seemed to like so we thought we’d give it a shot and then we had a 100-litre system.

The brewery’s soft opening is on Friday with a grand opening earmarked for August 23

The brewery’s soft opening is on Friday with a grand opening earmarked for August 23

“A friend of ours – Bill Carr – is interested in brewing and wanted to support us so he started to get more and more involved.

“He helped improve the brand and the look and the feel of the brewery and then this place popped up.

“We thought: ‘It’s now or never’. When we got the building, it was just a shell so a lot of foundational work had to be done.

“The transformation took us around four months. We’ve not had the time to stop and celebrate really.

“I’m sure when it opens we’ll have a few beers and soak it in a bit but we’ve just got to crack on at the moment. It’s been great fun but really hard. We’ve already learnt a lot of lessons and developed new skills. We’re really happy with it. We’re happy with the style we’ve gone for.”

The site took four months to convert into a brew pub

The site took four months to convert into a brew pub

Jon and Jim are just getting into their stride but Modern Day Monks is already award-winning.

They were named North West Young Trader of the Year in 2019 in the annual National Market Traders Federation competition.

Jon, added: “It was fun doing it and it was good to be able to go out and see what people liked and to learn how to approach them and talk about the beers. It was a good opportunity.”

Since then Jon has watched the craft beer scene grow in Warrington.

The 26-year-old said: “The beer scene in Warrington keeps getting better. There are a lot of cool beers in Anchor and Hops in Stockton Heath and then we’ve had Twisted Wheel Brew Co open in Warrington recently. We’ve introduced ourselves to some of the breweries nearby. 4Ts Brewery have helped us out a lot – Jordan and John there are top guys.

The Modern Day Monks logo at the top of the stairs Pictures: Dave Gillespie

The Modern Day Monks logo at the top of the stairs Pictures: Dave Gillespie

"And we want to look at doing some collaborations in the near future. My dad works for a wine company and can get wine barrels so we’re looking at doing a Chardonnay tripel (a strong Belgian-style beer) or something a little bit different.”

Modern Day Monks have already struck up relationships with Warrington restaurants like Grill on the Square and Rudy’s and diversity is key at the brewery - they want to expand their range of beers as soon as possible.

Their vision is for all kinds of beers styles like lagers, pale ales, stouts, Belgian dubbels and tripels and barrel aged beers to be pouring alongside each other.

But with brothers notoriously having a love-hate relationship do they always get on in their small work space?

Jon added: “When two brothers try and do the same job there are always arguments. Jim always had more of a knack for the brewing side of things so I take on more of the front of house side of things.”

Modern Day Monks opens at Evans House at 4pm on Friday