Bartlebys is a worker co-operative and vegan-friendly microbrewery based in Belper, Derbyshire. We make cask ales for sale in pubs in and around Belper, Derby and Nottingham.

Our history

Bartleby’s was set up by friends in Lancaster, and established as a co-operative in 2012. After a few happy years testing brews in a friend’s kitchen and providing small quantities of ale to festivals and events, we moved down to Brighton and scaled up to a 5BBL system. In Brighton we co-founded a social space and taproom with several other co-ops and collectives. As well as putting on events in the space, we also delivered beer (delivering exclusively by cargo bike) to pubs in the Brighton and Hove area. In 2019 it was all change again, and now we’re in Derbyshire – home of real ale – and are very excited to be getting started here.

We’ve benefitted immeasurably from the input of many friends and members along the way. Currently, Matt, Joe and Fabian are at the helm in Derbyshire, but longtime member-brewer-great-friend Matt (another one, the two beer Matts…) will always remain a huge part of the project, albeit one who visits from Brighton (and answers excel spreadsheet queries at lightening-fast speed to this day…). Many other friends have given hours of time and love to Bartleby’s and for that we are very grateful. So here’s to Chapter Three!

Our Plans

Our post-pandemic plan is to open the brewery in Campbell Street up as a taproom, and to welcome Belper ale lovers, groups and event organisers to the space. We’ll be putting the relevant plans for that early 2020, so watch this space. In the meantime, we are offering home deliveries and pub sales in the area (and working on getting the bike fixed up for the Belper hills…).

Our ethos

Our politics and ethics inform everything we do at Bartleby’s.

We set ourselves up as a Workers co-operative, because we don’t believe the world should be divided between workers and bosses, the haves and the have-nots.

Unlike the majority of breweries, we don’t use fish finings in our beer, because we don’t think fish should suffer in order that we can have a nice pint of ale. And, once you’ve tried our beer, we hope you’ll agree, it’s really just not necessary.

We try to minimise on waste as much as possible. All our spent grains and hops go to compost; we re-use every bit of water that we use to cool the beer, by using it to wash our equipment or water our plants. We hope to stay local, selling independent ale to independent pubs, and go back to delivering beer by cargo bike once it – and our leg muscles! – are up to it.