ENGINEER Martin Hoddinott is set to open a new brewery and tap room in central Farnham at the end of the year, hoping to become “a real focal point for the community” and create job opportunities for those hit hardest by Covid-19.

The start-up business, going by the name Maverick Brewing Company, reflects the way Martin wants the company to be run and what he hopes to achieve.

The owner has agreed terms to take over a unit in Dogflud Way, and hopes to move in by October, before opening fully in late November or early December to the public.

He has launched a crowdfunding campaign at to “help us make Maverick Brewing a reality”.

Martin told the Herald: “I’ve been working on this project for about five years and it’s been so difficult finding an industrial space that is right for the brewery and also accessible to the public.

“I have been developing different styles and flavours for more than 18 months and am excited to now be crowdfunding to kick-start the brewery proper, ready to open our doors by the end of the year.

“It’s a real passion project for me – I just like to brew what I love to drink.

“I like to be different and want Maverick Brewing to become a focal point for the community; not just an amazing place to meet, hang out and enjoy a delicious craft beer, but by working together, providing opportunity and skills direct to the people who need it, through our one-on-one training and work experience schemes.

“Part of the purpose of this business is to give young people, or people who have lost their jobs, especially with Covid-19, the opportunity to gain skills and get opportunities to work in new areas and get a new job.

“The brewing industry is unique in a lot in ways – within brewing itself you have chemistry, engineering, branding and marketing, sales, hospitality, logistics and finance and you can learn so much from working in a small business.

“When the tap room space is not being used, I want to be able to offer it to community and social enterprises to use it for events and that kind of thing.

“One of the other things I would like to be able to use the space for is for school leavers to come to seminars taught by experts in their industry.

“It’s not all about money, it’s about making some great beer, providing a chilled and friendly place to drink and having that connection with the community and giving back to them.

“A business doing good is a good business.”

Even though the brewery is not opening until the end of the year, Martin may still face the challenge of dealing with social-distancing measures when the business opens its doors to the public for the first time.

He said: “By opening in November or December, we should have a clearer path in terms of social distancing and what we need to do to deal with the situation as pubs and bars will have been open since July 4.

“We can prepare and then put the correct controls in place.

“The one plus side is we have quite a bit of space both in the brewery and the tap room, as well having an outside area.

“My hope and expectation is we will be able to arrange things sufficiently so we will be able to adhere to those restrictions.”

Martin’s crowdfunding campaign offers pledges and rewards in exchange for donations, ranging from t-shirts to having your name written on the ‘backers’ wall’, money back to spend in the tap room, a day brewing with experts and even an exclusive private dining experience in the brewery with an unlimited bar tab.

The money pledged will go towards accelerating the launch of the new business by fitting out the building and the new tap room – and the owner is already looking to the future with optimism.

He said: “I would love it to become a sustainable, socially responsible, community-focused business.

“I don’t have aspirations for it to become the next conglomerate – it’s more about how this business will focus on its people and how it could benefit them and the Farnham community.

“It’s important our staff buy in to this ethos so they can really transfer this to the tap room when the public do visit us.

“Hopefully people will feel the ambiance of the place just by coming in to the tap room and seeing the benefit of this brewery in the community – providing seminars and how we will give people opportunities to learn and get experience in business.”

For more information or to get in touch with Martin, visit his website or find Maverick Brewing Co on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.