Beer enthusiast runs from South Yorkshire garden shed

Dr Steve Burns in front of his pub in a shed
Dr Steve Burns in front of his pub in a shed
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Most people keep spades, rakes and lawn mowers and in their garden shed...

But beer enthusiast Steve Burns has no room for tools in his garden shed.

Dr Steve Burns in his pub in a shed

Dr Steve Burns in his pub in a shed

Instead, his is a full equipped nanobrewery – where he produces his own stouts, ales and porters to raise money for charities.

Rotherham Campaign for Real Ale chairman Steve first started brewing his own beer as a student at the University of Sheffield and took up the hobby again in 2005.

The 60-year-old doctor teamed up with his friend Geoff Brown to create The Two Magpies, a 144 square-foot nanobrewery in his backyard.

The two are capable of making two casks of beer a day, compared to a microbrewery which can produce 10 to 20 times that amount in the same time.

Dr Steve Burns in his pub in a shed

Dr Steve Burns in his pub in a shed

Steve, of Stafford Drive, Moorgate, Rotherham, said: “When you’re using really small quantities, a little bit of an ingredient either way will have a big effect on the flavour.

“Beer is a balance between the sweetness of the malt and the bitterness of the hops.”

Steve said the process is conducive to experimentation and added: “That’s the beauty of it – if it’s lousy I just throw five gallons away.”

The two friends hold a garden party, barbecue and beer tasting in the summer, which raises around £1,000 for Rotherham Hospice and Rotherham Cancer Care each year.

Dr Steve Burns in his pub in a shed

Dr Steve Burns in his pub in a shed

To celebrate Steve’s recent birthday, he partnered with Chantry Brewery to create his first commercially produced drink, a dark porter.

Mick Warburton, director at Chantry Brewery, said: “Steve is well known within Yorkshire’s real ale community and uses his wealth of knowledge and genuine passion to help others appreciate real ale.

“We felt it was a fitting way to mark his birthday and as we currently don’t brew a porter, we thought his recipe would complement our existing range of beers.”

Steve said the public’s opinion was ‘daunting’ and hoped the porter was going to have a ‘crisper and fresher’ taste than his other drinks.

He added: “The real test is when people say ‘that’s lovely, I’m going to have another one of those’. That’s what every brewery aims for.

“Every butcher makes his own sausages and they all taste different. Real ale is made by artisans, handmade by craftsmen, sometimes using family recipes and sometimes making recipes up.

“The science of it is really fascinating. The skill is balancing the flavours.”