A £50,000 grant from Locate East Sussex has helped beer judge Mark Tranter turn his passion into his livelihood.

Business grant

He successfully bid to a £4 million regional growth fund held by the not for-profit organisation committed to encouraging business and growth in the county and supported by East Sussex County Council.

“I started the brewery last year because it is a job that I love, and to be honest I don’t think I could do anything else,” says Mark, owner and head brewer of the county’s youngest commercial brewery. Firle-based Burning Sky Brewery opened in a refurbished barn at the foot of the South Downs in the autumn of 2013.

Burning Sky Brewery

Burning Sky Brewery

“I really wanted to be able to brew the beers that I wanted to without compromise,” says Mark about what prompted him to go into business for himself. “The only way to do this was to set up my own brewery because some of my beers will take several years to mature.” And this is one of the things that sets Burning Sky apart: the commitment of Mark and his colleagues to age
beers, often in oak casks, until they have developed their maximum flavour.

“The grant we have been awarded has helped enormously. It has allowed us to buy the quality of equipment needed, when we needed it, rather than having to wait. These include things such as additional fermenting vessels and more oak casks, which are used in the brewing and maturation process,” says Mark.