Monday, 3 January 2011

Real Ale a Recipe For Success

One of the breweries to get extra funding

By Ben Aulakh

Four micro-breweries in Shropshire are raising their glasses to a prosperous New Year after being given money to expand their businesses.

The Ludlow Brewing Company, the Three Tuns and the Six Bells Breweries, and The Clun Brewery have all secured thousands of pounds in funding to brew more beer.

The extra money came courtesy of a Rural Enterprise Grant; funding which is available for famers and micro businesses moving into the food and drink sector in the West Midlands.

Husband and wife partnership Gary and Alison Walters from the Ludlow Brewing Company got a grant of £62,500 to help establish a 20 barrel brewing plant in a redundant railway shed.

Mr Walters said, “The grant has enabled us to take a major step forward in growing the business.

“We’re producing five beers at the moment, but sales have grown above expectations and the time was right to invest in new brewing equipment.

Another major beneficiary from the grant is the Six Bells Brewery in Bishops Castle, their extra £53,000 of funding will allow them to treble their brewing capacity.

They will replace their current 8 hectolitre brewing plant with a new 25 hectolitre brewery.

Neville Richards, proprietor of the Six Bells said, “I made my first brew in 1997 and I’ve enjoyed every minute I’ve been in this business.

“I’m now running at 95 per cent capacity and the time has come to expand and the grant is helping to make that happen.”

“Shropshire is quenching the thirst of thousands of real ale drinkers - and one of our strengths as brewers is the friendly rivalry that exists between us, and there’s room for us all.”

A grant of £8,000 has also helped business partners Jack Limond and Matthew Williamson  set up the brand new a 2.5 barrel Clun Brewery at the rear of the White Horse Inn in the village.

Jack Limond, of the Clun Brewery said, “The real ale industry is enjoying a boom at the moment.

“Customers want locally produced food and drink - and that means beers with flavour, made from pure and natural ingredients.”

The Three Tuns Brewery in Bishops Castle will also be improving their brewing process by installing a 24-barrel cold liquor storage vessel and new internal cooling radiator, supported by a grant for 
£9,000.


Photograph from www.threetunsbrewery.co.uk

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