Like so many great things in life, Urban Alchemy Brewing can trace their origins back to a student's need for cheap alcohol.
While studying chemistry at university, Dave started to learn to home brew in order to be able to drink on a student's budget. Fast forward a few years to his PhD research, and Dave's girlfriend had understandably had enough of sharing their small home with a brewery, giving Dave an ultimatum - her or the brewing.
So Dave went looking for a new home for his brewing equipment, which he found in the form of one his older brother's school friends, Si. Si had the space for the equipment but not the facial hair for brewing, so he brought in another old friend from his school days, Matt, who had a beard that could worry a chicken.
Si and Matt set about learning all that they could about brewing, upgrading the equipment to make more, and better, beer. After much studying and experimentation, they honed their recipes into what they really wanted to drink, taking the best elements of both traditional British ales, and the rising craft beer scene with its New World flavours.
By now their beer was receiving praise from everyone who tried it, and after about the 50th time someone asked if there was any way to buy some, Matt and Si decided to take the next logical step and turn it into a commercial micro-brewery.
With his PhD now complete, Dave rejoined the fold as Chief Scientist, and the three began planning their nascent brewery. Finding that much of the equipment available to buy was often too big to fit into their small space, they decided to design their own brewing vessels and cooling system. It quickly became obvious that they would need someone who could put it all together without causing a serious fire. So they turned to another school friend's little brother - Neill - a man with the electrical and plumbing knowledge to make their ideas a reality, and a man whose parents could not spell 'Neil'.
And thus, the Urban Alchemy Brewing Company was born. Brewing craft beers in the heart of their own home town, Barnet.