An Interview with Radiant Brewing

Transfer of Mango Milkshake on Brew Day

New on to the Leeds beer scene is Radiant Brewing. Based out of North Leeds, the brewery is the brainchild of Stuart Hutchinson and Richard Littlewood. Just before Christmas 2021, I sat down with Stuart to find out more about Leeds’ newest brewery.

As with many new microbreweries, Stuart started out as a home brewer, with a dream of starting a brewery business. “During one of the lockdowns I sent a few beers to friends, and they told me it was great, with big smiles on their faces,” said Stuart. “It made me wonder if I could put big smiles on more people’s faces and so Radiant came about.”

Radiant Brewing's Mango Milkshake IPA

“The focus is all about making the world a brighter place and to help that, we also raise money for charity too, with donations coming from beer sales”

Radiant don’t yet have their own brewery, so they are taking help from Darkland Brewery in Boothtown, near Halifax, who are lending them the use of their brew kit.

“How did the relationship with Darkland happen?” continued Stuart. “I'd actually spoken to the guys at the Malt Brewhouse in Horsforth about cuckoo brewing there but unfortunately they didn't really have the capacity or storage space for us. But they were kind enough to let me shadow their head brewer Ricky on a few brews to get some experience of the big kit. It was Ricky who put me in touch with Darkland. I’m currently commuting to Halifax almost daily!”

I asked Stuart for more information on the first beers to be getting released. “The first two beers are a Mango Milkshake IPA and a Triple Chocolate Stout. As a new brewery starting up if I walk into a bar and say, ‘here’s an IPA, do you want to buy it?’ They’d probably ask ‘Why? I’ve got Cloudwater, DEYA, so why would I want one of yours?' So, it felt like we needed to make an impact with our first beers. I love making these sorts of beers and I think they fit in with our ethos of trying to make the world a brighter place. I understand these beers won’t be for everyone but hopefully it will get people excited and may interest those who aren’t into beer.”

Radiant Brewing's Triple Chocolate Stout

Stuart went onto explain about his recipe development. “I love recipe development, coming up with the idea for something whacky and then creating a recipe that doesn’t use artificial flavourings. I want to get as much as possible from the malts and hops. I like a lot of dessert inspired things, Neapolitan ice cream stout, lemon cheesecake pale, along with standard IPAs and stouts. These beers fit with our business plan and help with getting us noticed. My preferred style is stout and porter, but it’s not the most popular style. Triple Chocolate Stout may tickle some fancies!”

Currently, the beers are being produced into keg, but Stuart explained that the mid-term plan is to start small-scale canning too.

I asked Stuart for a bit more information on the charity element of the business. “We haven’t got anything concrete yet as we’re only just starting. There are so many worthwhile charities, but I think we will have a new charity every month and start local. It’s a tricky one as I don’t want to shout and scream about the charity side as it may make it seem like we’re doing it for exposure. But it is nice to tell people about it.”

Radiant Brewing's Stuart Hutchinson

With the first brews under his belt, I asked Stuart what next for Radiant. “We’re taking it steady, and we’d love to have a brewery opening in North Leeds. Darkland is 5BBL in size, I think we’ll likely setup at 2.5BBL and scale up from there. A long-term plan is a taproom too.”

There are 28 other breweries in Leeds, and I asked Stuart about his thoughts on that. “There’s a lot of competition, but the brewing industry is so friendly. We are direct competitors, but everyone still helps each other out. As an example, Mark at Horsforth Brewery has the attitude to help small, up and coming breweries. We’re all fighting for a small slice of the pie; how can we make that slice bigger?”

It was great to chat with Stuart and I look forward to trying the beers. “Darkland are currently selling our beers at their taproom, and I have meetings lined up with independent bars in Leeds to see if we can sell there too” finished Stuart.

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