Two lifelong Burton friends have made their eight-year-old dream a reality – by opening a beer store stocking hundreds of ales in the heart of the UK's home of brewing.
Chris McCormack and Robin Ludlow launched Brews of the World, on Station Street, Burton, on Saturday, November 18.
The store sells beers, ales and ciders from around the world, with whole shelves dedicated to beverages from as far afield as Belgium, Germany and even Japan.
The store has tapped into the extraordinary brewing history of Burton, home to names such as Marston's and Molson Coors, by having a whole corner dedicated to local brewers, including Burton Bridge, the Old Cottage Brewing Company and Worthington's White Shield, among others.
With hundreds of beers, and more than 65 different variety of ciders, there is something for anyone who fancies a tipple.
The pair told the Burton Mail they had been discussing opening their own store for around eight years, before finally taking the plunge.
But Mr Ludlow said they very nearly did not realise their dream. "There was a small place in Abbey Arcade, the old wool shop, we thought this would be a fantastic little German style café bar. We stood outside talking about it, just pipedreams, complete fantasy.
"So, around a year ago we walked past it and it was empty, just a shell. So we said we'll have a little look into it.
"We called the letting agent, they came down and let us have a look around and we decided we could do it. A week later we opened the company, Brews of the World Limited, which was in January.
"Then it's just one small step after another, we did some research and it just started to snowball. We agreed terms on the premises, and then we had some issues.
"In August we had the lease through, we had the place licensed through the council, got planning permission, but the lease read that we had no permission for the sale of alcohol or fish.
"Our solicitor said it was pretty much impossible, we'd never get permission to change it, it could take years. We'd done all this background work, put in the money and were ready to go, but all of a sudden the rug was pulled."
But luckily, while the pair, who have frequently volunteered for work with CAMRA in the past, were considering where to go next, they walked past the empty store on Station Street.
Mr Ludlow added: "So again, we went for a drink, and were walking past this place, and saw it was empty and pressed our noses up to the glass, thought it might be okay.
"We actually know the owner, so we called him, and he told us it used to be a hairdresser, it's been closed for about two years. We came down the next day, he gave us the keys and we were straight in.
"It was a mess though. There was a counter in the middle, with mirrors all the way along the walls, with chairs in front and a turquoise colour. There was at least four years' worth of mail in front of the door, it really was a mess. They had downed tools and left.
"We ploughed on, got the keys during the first week of September, made a plan and ripped through, got everything out and started putting our mark on it. Then we opened in November.
"We did everything ourselves, the floor was already here, our mate did the welding for the shelves, we got the wood, waxed it, sanded it and cut it, painted it, put cameras in.
"We were aiming for a nice pub atmosphere, rather than a bright spotlighted shop. It used to be very bright, being a hairdresser.
"We want a real community feel to the place, people come in, chat to us about the beers, and hear our story of how we got here."
The pair said they hoped to become part of the renaissance of brewing in Burton, with the rise of micro-pubs in the area.
Mr Ludlow, a 41-year-old lorry driver, who still takes to the road four days a week when he's not working in the Burton store, said they decided to open the business despite the risks attached.
Meanwhile, Mr McCormack, 43,, a former worker at Marston's brewery in Burton, said he hoped that Brews of the World could provide him with a long-lasting career.
They said the freedom of working as an independent business allowed them to swap stock around when they wanted to, and order and sell beverages as requested by customers – despite not being able to compete with the prices of supermarket products.
Now they want to expand the business further to include a bar from which to serve the range of beverages, depending on the success of the business.
Brews of the World regularly post updates on their dedicated Facebook page, detailing what new beers and ales are available at the store, and can be found online at https://www.facebook.com/BOTWBurton/ .