It has been a bit of a landmark week here at the brewery with two mega bits of news! We have now signed the deals on our new custom-built, cutting-edge brewery that will increase brewing capacity ten-fold – and, to put the cherry on top, we have also purchased our first urban pub, Shillibeers, in Islington, London.
The new brewery will be situated in the former dairy next door. We have agreed Heads of Terms with our current landlords, Yattendon Estates and, subject to planning, building works will begin in the next few months, starting with erasing all traces of cow. This new brewery will feature state-of-the art equipment capable of creating a massive range of beer styles. We will also be bringing all packaging in house, something which we have not been able to do before and we will also be providing packaging facilities for other breweries. A new shop, café, bar and beer garden are also on the cards! We have asked for a staff slide and ball pool, games room and cinema, but we aren’t holding our breath.
Our new London pub, Shillibeers, will allow us to showcase our craft beers, alongside the cask ales from our big brother, West Berkshire Brewery’s range. A new menu of quality food designed to pair with selected beers will be introduced at the venue, which is split across three levels and includes a kitchen and deli.
The boss (that’s Mr Bruce to you, AKA “The Chairman”) in one of those written for PR quotes, said,
“This is a real turning point for us at West Berkshire Brewery. We are thrilled to have secured such a fantastic site in one of London’s most exciting areas. For the first time we can proudly serve our beers directly to customers. Our pub will be full of atmosphere and showcase a stunning range of beers and ciders from all over the world, including those we make ourselves. It will really put our brewery on the map.
“We’re just as excited to have signed an agreement for our new brewery. We have a fabulous brewing team who are full of ideas and our new equipment will enable them to let their creativity loose. It also means that we can significantly increase our production, allowing us to spread our wings further than our current distribution heartland; it’s truly an exciting time.”
The new brewing equipment from brew gear boffins CFT, based in Parma, Italy, is a state-of-the-art, three-vessel brewery that will enable the brew crew to increase our current range of beer styles, while a fully automated and flexible packaging line will be able to pack a mind boggling 7,000 bottles or 10,000 cans per hour and will allow us to begin high-quality contract packaging for other breweries.
We have signed the deals during the final weeks of our crowdfunding campaign, via both the Asset Match and Seedrs platforms, which aims to raise £1.5m (so far we have raised over £1.3m via the process). There is still time to invest, with the minimum commitment less than a round of beers. The crowdfunding campaign draws an end to the wider fundraising project to raise £4m to fund the expansion of the brewery.
The new brewery and packaging line is expected to be delivered in December 2016 and operational from early 2017.
More information on the crowdfunding campaign is available at www.seedrs.com/wbb