A PENTON beer lover turned businessman has concocted a recipe for success after transforming a historic country house basement into a brewery.

Guy Rolfe, of Penton Mewsey, started making beer as a home-brewer five years ago.

Now he runs Penton Park Brewery having built the facility from scratch himself.

The brewery only started selling to pubs in November of last year, but already its beer is available in 19 venues in and around Andover.

“I didn’t envisage it taking off as much as it has,” said Guy.

“We just keep having people ring up and say, ‘I hear the beer’s good; can I have a firkin?’”

The brewery is based out of Penton Park, where Guy lives with his wife, Danielle, their three children and Guy’s parents.

The property has functioned as a wedding venue since 2011 and in November 2017 Guy applied to transform the building’s basement into a brewery.

One year later the brewery got its first beers in pubs, with the business showing no signs of slowing since.

As well as the 19 local venues, the brewery has expanded to have products in pubs in London, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire.

There are also plans to apply for additional funding to expand the brewery in a bid to meet demand.

Guy says the brewery prides itself on the quality of its beer, which he puts down to regularly tasting and tweaking the products.

“We have never put out a bad beer or an infected beer,” he said.

“None of our beers have been sent back because at every stage we sample it. We are constantly trying the beer to make sure it tastes right.”

Another feature of the brewery is its ties to the local area. The water that goes into the beer is sourced from a well in the garden, and Guy has plans to soon start growing his own hops onsite.

“My farmer friend, Henry Crook, and I are talking about it at the moment as a project for next year. We were thinking about naming the hops after a street in Andover — ‘Vespasian’ or something like that.”

Guy also hopes to add a new staff member from the area, joining a team that already has a very local flavour.

“That’s what the investment is for, to get a local person into the brewery. Our delivery driver is local and upstairs we have some local people who help keep the place running.”

Guy’s pride in the area stretches beyond the beers he produces. He points to other successful companies and the positives they bring to Andover and hopes Penton Park Brewery can also give the town something to shout about.

“People can be dismissive about the area, but if people want to make a difference in Andover they can.

“Just ignore the negative bits and focus on the positives. They are there.

“Like Test Valley Gin — what a fantastic company they are.

“A lot of local businesses are doing really well. I just think we need to focus on the positives more. Positive thinking breeds positive action, doesn’t it?

For more information on the brewery, go to pentonparkbrewery.com.