Press Office


Students brew up business success


Students are well known for their love of the odd pint, but enterprising Newcastle University students are cashing in by launching their own micro-brewery.

“Stu Brew” – run by students, for students – is the name of the new sustainable, environmentally-friendly business being launched at Newcastle University to produce quality, real ales.

Funded through the National Union of Students (NUS) Student Green Fund, the students will be growing their own organic hops, learning the finer art of beer-making, bottling, marketing and selling the final tipple to their fellow students in the union bar.

The first student-run brewery in the country, “Stu Brew” will be led by the Newcastle University Student Union (NUSU) Green Guerrilla Social Enterprise project which market and sell student-grown produce back to students and university staff.

Bob Milan, who manages the NUSU community action projects and will be overseeing the setting up of the brewery, said they hoped to have their first samples ready for tasting early in the New Year.

“We are really excited about launching this new venture and hope lots of students will want to get involved,” explains Bob.

“We already have the polytunnels in place at our community allotment and also at our main site in Rupert’s Wood, Northumberland ready for growing the hops and we’ve rented a disused barn which will be converted into the new brewery over the next few weeks.

“This is a first for all of us involved so we don’t know yet what our beer will turn out like but we’re determined it will be good and made with the very best ingredients and lots of enthusiasm.

“The aim is to set up the university’s first Brewing Society alongside the project to give students a real understanding and ownership of the project as well as providing them with some useful entrepreneurial experience.”

The micro-brewery is just one of seven environmental and sustainability initiatives to have been given the go-ahead following a £269,341 cash injection through the National Union of Students Green Fund.  The other projects being funded are:

•          “NUSU Student Eats” allotment Market Garden Enterprise - volunteers will develop student-run outlets to market and sell local student-grown organic produce back to students and university staff;

•          Guerrilla Gardening - which will enable students to work alongside local communities to make significant environmental improvements, demonstrating that everyone can play a part in sustainable communities;

•          A programme of sustainability, environmental education and practical conservation workshops and residentials for local children’s and youth groups will be planned and delivered by student volunteers;

•          Project ideas inspired by and developed through these workshops will then be supported through the “Green Grants Fund”, enabling young residents of Newcastle to take positive environmental action in their own communities. A student-led small grants fund for community-based environmental projects will be established, investing grants up to the value of £2000 in schools and constituted youth groups;

•          The establishment of a ¾ acre student-planted and managed orchard;

•          The acquisition and management of two bee apiaries at the NUSU “Student Eats” allotment and orchard.

Nationally, NUS has awarded £5million to help students ‘green’ their institutions and wider communities, engaging 50,000 students nationally and embedding sustainability into the core purpose of higher education across England.

Bob adds: “To receive NUS Student Green Funding is the stuff that dreams are made of.

“This is an endorsement and recognition of the good works that is being done by the SCAN Committee, Volunteers and staff, supported by NUSU and our University, and now we’re looking forward to getting stuck in and making a real difference to the communities we work with.”

published on: 15 August 2013