Well it's fair to say that after months of painfully slow progress, we are now getting very close to being able to start brewing beer in what is currently the ninth brewery in Stockport - according to South Manchester CAMRA, that's the most the town has had since 1899.
It seems an awfully long time since the "Where's Brian ?" quiz team trolled along to a small beer festival at a recently-acquired railway arch adjacent to the Crown Inn in Stockport (November 2013). Casting our eyes round the barely painted, straw-carpeted space, one of us casually muttered the words "this would be a good place for a brewery". The brief silence that followed was the flick of the switch that slowly set hundreds of cogs into motion, as a fanciful whim gradually shaped itself into a fully-fledged bonkers idea.
I'm not sure we knew at the time that the railway arch was already earmarked for the Crown's own micro - Stockport Brewing Company - but our own search for possible premises took many months and a few disappointing misses, before we eventually came across the old Autoglass premises on Carrington Field Street. Larger than we were looking for at the time, but as soon as Jon, Anne and Andy saw it, we knew it was absolutely right for us.
By this time we had already settled on the name of Cryptic Ales, Brian was already on the hard sell to anyone who was prepared to stand and listen, and now with pretty much all of the kit (except a cask washer) in situ, plus our own 'lab' for experimenting, we are almost ready to roll.