A PONTELAND scientist is brewing up a whole new career after taking on a challenge from her husband.
Former chemical engineer Julia Austin is putting her years of experience at global companies to good use as she works to find the formula for a perfect pint.
The 40-year-old was bitten by the beer brewing bug after a visit to Granville Island Brewing in Vancouver, Canada, and when she returned home her husband John challenged her to make a decent pint.
Mrs Austin spent two years experimenting and in January she took the opportunity to take voluntary redundancy from her job as Production Manager at Arizona Chemicals and set up Tyne Bank Brewery.
The business is based on the former site of the Hadrian and Border Brewery in Hawick Industrial Estate, Byker, and Mrs Austin is now working with her Head Brewer Mark McGarry to create three new beers — Monument Bitter, pale ale Castle Gold and an American pale ale Silver Dollar.
She said: “Mark and I are really excited about the brewery and the beers we are creating — we are both pouring a lot of time, love and care into these ales.
“We are focused on creating drinks with real character, using only quality ingredients, as well as offering five star customer service.”
The mother-of-two worked for seven years at Arizona Chemicals and spent nine years at Nissan as a development engineer, where she was responsible for creating the Chromaflair paint for the Micra and Primera.
She is hoping to apply some of the innovation and efficiency skills she acquired to her new business.
“My background means I am experienced at creating new products and setting up efficient production lines and at Tyne Bank I hope to pass on the benefits of these efficiencies to my customers,” she said.
“Mark is a talented brewer, who is passionate about real ale and has a flair for creating delicious flavours. Our combined skills mean we are producing drinks customers will love and I have every confidence they will be well received.”
Before moving into the brewery Mrs Austin began developing her ales at Brewlab in Sunderland, trialling some at Museum Vaults in Sunderland and Byker’s Cumberland Arms. The beers picked up four accolades at the National Craft Brewing Association Awards.
The business aims to sell the ales to independent pubs, wholesalers, chains, private individuals and event organisers, while party packs will be available to hire.
For more details visit www.tynebankbrewery.co.uk