What would become Top Rope Brewing began way back in January 2015, when Ben and Neil met at Brewdog Liverpool's homebrew club. Bonding over a shared interest in beer and pro wrestling, they eventually got around to discussing beer recipes, swapped tips and finally started homebrewing together a year later.
Using the available communal hub of Ben's parent's kitchen (also taking advantage of seemingly unlimited free coffee, as well as the odd hot meal), beers were brewed, recipes experimented with and an effective working partnership was developed.
The push to commercial brewing came a few months later, in May 2016 Ben discovered that his place of work was due to close; Neil was desperate to escape the 9 to 5 world of office work and so tentative plans were made. Those plans accelerated in early June when they won 3 out of 5 categories in the Liverpool Brewdog homebrew competition.
With almost no commercial brewing experience between them (save a few enthusiastic volunteer shifts at local breweries) the decision was made to start small. After an impassioned pitch to two (slightly inebriated) parents, it was agreed to build a small, 100 litre, brewery in the back garden of Ben's childhood home.
The Summer of 2016 was a whirlwind of concrete, digging, shed building, more digging and seemingly endless leaking tap seals, but by August bank holiday the brewery was technically functional. Paperwork was filed, admin work was completed and the launch was set for 6th November 2016.
The next few months saw a flurry of brewing to perfect and produce 6 beers for the launch night, complicated slightly by Ben's selection for jury service (on an 11 week trial no less). However, through perseverance, hard work and good fortune, Ben, Neil, Pam and Robbie (Ben's long suffering parents) launched 5 beers to the eagerly awaiting public on Sunday 6th November 2016.
What about the 6th beer I hear you ask? That's a story for another time...
The beginning of 2017 saw the brewery continue to experiment with new recipes and release new beers constantly, predominantly in keg and bottle. The next jump came during the 2017 Liverpool Craft Beer Expo, where an incredibly positive reception prompted discussion about expansion.
After considering various options, we were fortunate to be offered the opportunity to purchase a brewery in North Wales which was sadly closing. After a number of positive meetings (the brewery was family owned, so it passing to us, essentially a family company, was a great fit) and a long and through legal process, we took ownership of a (fairly) brand new, shiny 5bbl brewhouse on 1st February 2018.
This brings us up to present day, the working team of Top Rope is still just 4 people with Ben overseeing recipe development, Neil taking charge of sales, Pam handling accounts and compliance and Robbie handling stock management and deliveries (along with everyone doing LOADS of cleaning, so much cleaning).
We remain, as always, committed to producing modern, full flavored beer and having as much fun as possible while pushing the limits of what we can achieve wherever we can.