JASON Stephenson did not need much persuading when asked on his birthday if he fancied running his own brewery.
He was walking around Dovestone Reservoir at the time but four months later he is brewing his first range of traditional and eclectic products down the road at Waterside Mill.The one-time Railway Inn barman and award-winning landlord, who now runs a Manchester city centre bar, has moved into the unit previously home to Greenfield Brewery.
Owner Tony Pye still owns the Greenfield name and its products but Tameside-born Jason has bought the brewing kit and leased the space.
The first samples of his Juggernaut brand were being produced as the Independent went to press.
It promises to be an interesting journey for Jason’s Juggernaut – the original concept named after an unstoppable fictional character from the Marvel comics.
But each Juggernaut characters on the uniquely branded, colourful cans come from Jason’s imagination and storyboard ignited via a 1902 film by George Melies, a French film director and actor, called A Trip to the Moon.
“It’s a film about a bunch of cuckoo professors who want to go to the moon because they are off their heads on opium. They land but then get scared off again,” he explained.
And the beers? “The main beer will be a 4.3 American style session beer in cans kegs and casks,” he explained. “Our bread and butter beers, if you like.
“It will be modern style, slightly dry, slightly bitter but fresh and also gluten free. Then we will crack on with a nice little fresh lager.
“At the same time there will be some seven, eight maybe 10 percent wheat beers and stouts.”Jason, who has been a pub manager at the Witchwood in Ashton and then landlord at the Crown and Kettle in Manchester, also had a spell as co-owner and co-founder with the Zeitgeist Brewing company.
“When that stopped that is when I came up with this story board and my brain just went bananas,” he laughed.
“There was a brewing kit in the city centre I was looking to purchase from a friend of mine. But financially this is a better option.
“I had a nice discussion with Tony, saw the equipment and listened to what he had to offer. And it is in a lovely place and the water is fantastic.”
No content with his brewery purchase Jason then bought himself a bar in Manchester four days later.
“It’s hard to believe I didn’t drink cask ales until I was 24 or 25 even though I served I every day. I was a Kopparberg man but now look at me.”