Paul Holden-Ridgway, Brewing & Distilling Company (BAD Co.)


Please introduce yourself and your brewery...

BAD Co. is a progressive brewery based in North Yorkshire, founded in 2014. Our beers are inspired by the American approach to craft brewing and follow a musical theme, mainly from rock songs that go really well with great beer and together, complement any night out or night in.

Where do you brew from and what is your set up?

Our brewery is based on Dishforth Airfield, an RAF base not far from the A1 in North Yorkshire, with great views of beautiful countryside for miles. We started out with a 12BBL with a capacity of 6,000l which grew to 224BBL by July 2016. We now produce 8 "headliners" and a few specials throughout the year in cask, keg, bottle and we're one of the first breweries in the UK to launch 360° cans. We've got a little brewery shop on site selling all of our range, including in gift packs and distribute our online orders from there too - fresh from the source!

What was your path into the world of brewing?

After a trip to the USA where I became massively inspired by craft brewing, I started my own nano-brewery in a room above the pub in which I'm the landlord and set up a brewing club. I tested my beers on regulars to the pub and found that they went down really well and I couldn't produce enough to supply demand. That led me to start working for a local brewery learning the craft on a bigger scale and eventually BAD Co. was born, created with David Brown, a local businessman with a passion for craft beer and knowledge of the manufacturing industry.

What’s the single biggest challenge facing the UK independent beer market?

With the saturation of the market as it is currently, it's a great time to be a consumer as there is a multitude of great breweries producing top quality beers. But from a manufacturing side it keeps us on our toes to ensure we are producing the best beers we can.

What was the first beer which altered your perception of beer?

Milk Stout by Lancaster Brewing Company was my inspiration for starting the recipe for BAD Co.'s Milk Stout, Dazed & Confused. It's a beer style I absolutely love and I think that really shows - Dazed & Confused is one of our best sellers and has won lots of awards, including Silver at the Dublin Craft Beer Cup in 2016.

What do you drink when you're not drinking your own beers?

Loose Cannon by Märzen. It's a fantastic beer, shame it's not available in the UK!

Which brewery, other than your own, do you most respect?

Brewdog! It's a great business model with some amazing beers and has really driven the craft beer market in the UK. Along with Magic Rock and Cloudwater, too who are both doing some radical brews.

What’s the strangest ingredient you’ve ever put in a beer?

We once brewed a beef stout as a one-off and a bit of a crazy experiment. It was based on a historical English beer recipe from Heriot-Watt University.

Describe your brewery in six words.

Progressive, efficient, consistent, ambitious, social, fun.

Mike Hampshire