It began with a Christmas present, and has led to a flourishing business...

When Dan Bonner's wife presented him with a home brew kit for Christmas, there was every chance it would end up forgotten at the back of a cupboard.

Isn't that what happens to half of them?

But Dan got busy with his, and then bought another, and another.

"...after making five or six kits over a year, I decided I'd set up a micro brewery," he told Total MK, remembering that lightbulb moment.

"It was a bit of an impulsive decision, but once the idea was underway there was no going back."

And so the Milton Keynes based, micro Concrete Cow Brewery was born.


But that was 2007.  Eight years on, and things are positively fizzing.  

And the man at the helm has had to combine a love for the wet stuff, with being the brains of the business.

"The biggest lesson learned?  No matter how frustrating things can get at times, always behave how you think is right, and keep a cool head, I suppose," he says.

"Another lesson is be prepared to turn around when you realise that you are heading up a cul-de-sac and look for a real avenue."

Nowadays, there are five or six beers - all named after the locality - bottled and casked regularly.

More than a few of you will have enjoyed a pint of Fenny Popper, Cock n Bull and Old Bloomer by now.

Other bottles favoured by the drinking fraternity include the wheat beer Dirty Cow, and now there's the new MK IPA, which comes in a can.  


It's spanking new, the label adorned with iconic buildings including Xscape and stadium:mk

It's a real first too: "Concrete Cow is the smallest UK brewery to can its beer with its own in-house canning line," Dan says.

Special label batches have been issued - including the celebration label for 175 years of Wolverton, and looking ahead, one for this summer's Chilli Festival at Frosts Garden Centre is bottled and ready to go.  That's the beauty of being a small producer.

At the end of a long week at work, plenty of us welcome in the weekend with a pint of beer.

But what does a man who runs a micro brewery do?  Kick back with a fruit squash, maybe?

"Ha!  If the weather is good, there is nothing better after a manic week of brewery business than to sit in the garden sipping...a pint of beer!"

MPMG Concrete Dan

And, so long as Dan can keep providing the locality with something worth sipping, he'll be happy.

'I want to maintain a business which balances earning a living with not too much stress," he says.

"I'll not be trying to take over the world...what's the point when I already enjoy what I do?"  

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