Plans to open a brewery in Berkhamsted should come to a head in time for the 100th anniversary of the closure of the last one to be based in the town.
The men behind the project – all in their early to mid-50s – are expecting to get the keys to the premises that will eventually become home to their beer-making operation on Christmas Eve.
They aim to have all of the brewery kit installed by March, so that the first beers can come off the production line in time for Easter.
They will probably be serving them to people from next summer, said Nigel Oseland, one of the seven founders of the Berkhamsted Brewing Company.
He said: “There are seven investors and we are all local to Berkhamsted, and we are all professionals that run our own businesses.
“This is a passion for us. It is something we think the town needs and we think there is a space for it.”
Their company – which will trade with the name Haresfoot Brewery once it is up and running – will initially aim to supply independent pubs, restaurants, festivals, fetes and markets.
But the firm has also submitted plans to run brewery tours and a sales area from its new address, which Nigel prefers to keep under wraps for now.
He said that there used to be two breweries in Berkhamsted, but the last to be based in the town closed its doors in 1914.
Nigel said: “Why not bring back some of that heritage into the town? Why should Tring have all the glory of having its own brewery? Why shouldn’t Berkhamsted have its own brewery, too?”
Haresfoot Brewery will be only a third of the size of Tring Brewery, but will be producing 400 firkins of beer a month at its maximum capacity.
The seven investors will be stumping up between £30,000 and £90,000 for brewery kit alone. They aim to recruit two staff to help out in its day-to-day management while continuing to run their other businesses.
Nigel is the owner of Workplace Unlimited and previously worked in London and overseas.
He said: “I have lived in the town for 25 years and basically treated it as a dormitory – somewhere I sleep rather than live – and I thought it was about time I put something back into the community.”