When husband and wife team Nick and Gulen Smith first started Steam Machine Brewing Company, they did so in a tiny unit behind Newton Press. It was here they created beer, moving equipment around at the weekend so they could serve customers in a cramped space. They always had a vision of a place that would allow them greater production capacity, their own kitchen, and room for big music events, but as a young start-up, this seemed like a distant dream.
The support and reception they received was incredible to say the least, with the wonderful people of Aycliffe really buying into their vision of excellent quality brews, and they quickly grew a national and international reputation for their creativity in the world of craft beer.
“Keeping up with demand, meant we expanded time and time again,” Gulen says, “Our boldest expansion came a few months before the pandemic and, like a lot of businesses, there were daily and weekly challenges for us. We had moved into our current unit, expanding our brewing capacity ten-fold, and began to plan ambitious events before the world went crazy.”
Steam Machine weathered the pandemic storm, adapting to constantly changing rules and regulations. They were quick to implement click and collect services for both their on-site beers and gourmet burgers. Even though they now had the production facility of their dreams, the vision of busy music events seemed further away than ever…
“It’s only now in 2022 we are finally achieving our goal,” Gulen continues, “Every event we have put on has been a complete sell-out, including Mark Morriss from The Bluetones, Mr Wilson’s Second Liners, as well as our beer festivals featuring more local acts. In fact, we are really excited for our next major performance by The Old Time Sailors – which is a seventeen-piece nautical flashmob experience. They played last year and everyone left completely wowed.”
So what does the future hold for Steam Machine Brewing Company?
“We are doubling down on our mission to offer something unique,” Nick says, “On top of the events, we have our ever-changing diverse range of beers brewed on site, with independent wines and artisan spirits, to our delicious informal food offerings, it’s all growing as a national visitor attraction.”
“I still smile when local people discover us for the first time,” Nick adds “when they walk through the doors, see the brewing vessels, and meet the people behind the beer, sample our food, and just relax. We are forever being told we are a hidden gem, but I don’t think we are that secret! Last week we had visitors all the way from Belgium, and they knew who we were!”
The Old Time Sailors are performing on Friday 17th June from 7.30pm. Tickets are available from the brewery, or online.
Steam Machine Brewing Company LTD, Unit 26 Northfield, Newton Aycliffe, DL5 6EJ
Find out more, visit: www.steammachinebrew.com
Email: info@steammachinebrew.com or call 01325 311606.