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MICROBREWING GUIDE

Prepared by
David Smith
The Innovation Partnership Ltd
118 High Street
Manchester, M4 1HQ
Tel: 0161 834 4401
Fax: 0161 834 4402
Email: tipl@innopartners.com

With thanks to












Laurence Washington, The Purple Moose Brewery, Gwynedd
Len Davis, Gwaun Valley Brewery, Pembrokeshire
Tom Newman, The Celt Experience, Pontypridd, Mid Glamorgan
Cameron Pearce, Snowdonia Park (brewpub), Gwynedd
Brian Dooley, Preseli Brewery, Pembrokeshire
Glen Ellis, Rotters Brewery, Powys
Peredur Williams, Gwynedd
Buster Grant, Breconshire Brewery, Brecon
Dave Porter, PBC (Installations) Ltd
Buster Grant, Chair of the Association of Welsh Independent Brewers
Rhys Owen, Head of Conservation and Agriculture, Snowdonia National Park
Geraint Hughes, Madryn Consultancy, Pwheli
Adam McDonnell, Agri-Food Regional Manager for North Wales

Prepared for
Gwynedd Rural Development Plan - Innovate
Gwynedd County Council
Council Offices
Shirehall Street
Caernarfon
Gwynedd, LL55 1SH
Tel: 01286 679628
Fax: 01286 678962

Copies of this booklet can be downloaded from the following web addresses:
Gwynedd Economic Partnership www.economigwynedd.info, www.gwyneddeconomy.info
Snowdonia National Park www.eryri-npa.gov.uk

2 The Process 6 3 SITE.CONTENTS 1 INTRODUCTION 3 2 THE BREWING PROCESS 5 2.3 Planning 12 3.5 Costs 15 4 ROUTE-TO-MARKET 17 5 FIRST HAND EXPERIENCE 19 6 MINI CASE STUDIES 24 7 USEFUL CONTACTS 27 3 . PREMISES AND PLANT 9 3.4 Basic Plant 12 3.1 The Ingredients 5 2.1 Site and Layout 9 3.2 Waste Products 10 3.

4 . attracted by distinctiveness and keen to discourage ‘food miles’. and marketing and promotion. typically a dragon or flag. Beers from Wales are beginning to gain prominence. microbrewing is experiencing strong growth averaging more than 10% since 2004. have fuelled the growth in the number of microbrewers in recent years. This growth is being driven by the Progressive beer Duty (PBD). and the growing consumer trend of buying and sourcing food and drink locally. It has been written by The Innovation Partnership Ltd following a Strategic Innovation Study commissioned by Gwynedd Council. up-to-date information about the microbrewing process including ingredients. together with low technical and commercial barriers to entry. These drivers. It is informed by interviews with several successful Welsh microbrewers. CAMRA has held the Champion Beer of Wales competition since 1996 and winning brewers are proud to use the wining accolade in their promotional material. Many of the Welsh brewers use a ‘made in Wales’ on their products. plant layout. The Association of Welsh Independent Brewers (AWIB) is considering the development of a logo. Unlike the rest of the brewing sector.1 INTRODUCTION This microbrewing guide is aimed at Gwynedd farmers. equipment requirements and costs. The guide contains practical. The Wales – True Taste Producers Food and Drink Awards have also helped raise the profile of brewers from the Principality. site considerations. which reduces the duty paid by smaller brewers by as much as 50%. regulations including planning. A Strategic Innovation Study (SIS) is intended to identify and facilitate the creation of sustainable ventures that will deliver significant wealth and create jobs within the Gwynedd rural community to benefit farmers and have a positive impact in the wider Gwynedd economy.

global brands that taste the same. Despite overall sales of beer in the UK going down. in Conwy. states: They’re really coming up with some wonderful beers and people are a bit fed up with bland. Many of these breweries are willing to give guided tours of their sites and are keen to share their enthusiasm for brewing. Denbigh and Flint. these microbreweries have been bucking the trend with success stories on the Lleyn Peninsula. When the Purple Moose Brewery set up in 2005 there were only two other breweries in North Wales.” 5 .North Wales. once regarded as the backwater of beer brewing. Since then there has been a whole bevy of beer makers who have endeavoured to put North Wales on the beer map. CAMRA. commenting on the growth in small breweries in Wales. These microbreweries typically employ a handful of people and supply very distinctive tasting beers to pubs and shops in their locality. has been making something of a name for itself in recent years.

rye and even rice are also added for particular purposes. They also contribute to flavour and aroma. Wheat is a common grain used for this purpose. 6 .the grape. things are more complicated. 2. sugar. Liquor – brewers refer to the hot water into which the processed malt is ‘mashed’ as liquor. In their natural state. Yeast – every brewery has its own strain of yeast not least to help produce a distinctive flavour... both malted and unmalted. but oats. everything comes in a nice little package. All three have to be brought together before you can add the yeast. in a balance of natural ingredients and processes. old or new the process remains the same. With beer. and aromatic or flavour components. grains contain almost none of the required components: no liquid. Hops –hops contain acids that kill bacteria and protect the beer from infection. no sugar and not much in the way of flavour. Yeast is a microscopic fungus that digests the maltose (sugar) and excretes alcohol and the CO2 that puts the fizz in beer. With wine. Malt – malt is usually made from barley but brewers also use other grains. Some brewers embrace modern technology while others use more traditional means but whether the brewery is large or small. craft and science.1 INGREDIENTS Most alcoholic beverages have three components: a liquid medium.2 THE BREWING PROCESS Brewing the perfect beer requires the brewer to use art. however. Water in a brewery is for washing and cooling. which is digested by yeast to create the waste products of alcohol and carbon dioxide. Cereal grains are hard to ferment.

where it is mashed with hot water (similar to the process of making a cup of tea). other cereals . if required by the brewer’s recipe to produce particular characteristics of flavour or colour or appearance. and eventually a sweet brown liquid is run off.Other Ingredients – more and more ingredients are being used in the brewing process to create new flavours with fruit particularly prevalent. unmalted barley and wheat can be introduced. Darker malts are used for stouts. The grist is transferred to a large vessel called a mash tun. The wort as it is called is then boiled with hops in large vessels.2 THE PROCESS The malted barley is lightly crushed into a coarse powder called grist. At this stage. The natural sugars in the malt dissolve in the liquor. 7 .including flaked maize. known as coppers. 2.

normally in the cellar of a pub. 8 . foaming heads. Historically. barrel or bottle. Finings are added which bind the materials responsible for haze and sink to the bottom. Known as bottom fermentation. carbon dioxide and a range of subtle flavours. Yeast is added. enclosed fermenters are used with a conical base. the most critical process of all. to ensure hygienic conditions. For cask- conditioned beers (real ales). creamy crust. which means to store at a cold temperature. The conditioning process differs according to how the beer is to leave the brewery. and it begins to convert the natural sugars into alcohol. bottles or cans. Lagers are fermented with a different type of yeast which works at colder temperatures. all British ales and stouts were fermented with yeast that rose to the top of the beer. The yeast in the beer is still active. before a beer leaves the brewery it must be conditioned. some are fined and filtered and some are pasteurised to guard against deterioration from microbes. Other beers are brought to condition in the brewery. and the beer will undergo a second fermentation in the cask. protecting the beer from air. it is vulnerable to attack from all kinds of contamination by wild yeasts and other micro-biological organisms. The word lager comes from the German word ‘lagern’. the head settles into a thick. just like the beer undergoing fermentation in the brewery. When the yeast has done its job. The hopped wort is cooled and run into fermentation vessels. clarifying the beer. More hops may be added to the cask (dry hopping) for extra aroma. Finally. the beer goes directly into the cask. Cask conditioned beer is a delicate product and. For lagers there is a longer period of conditioning in the brewery at low temperature. in which the yeast settles into the base. and which sinks to the bottom of the fermenting vessel.The next stage is fermentation. kegs. They reach the consumer in casks. and in many cases this method is still used. These top fermenting beers develop cloud like.

– mains drainage and drainable floors. including transport for visitors and employees. The two key factors that affect internal brewery layout are: • exit hole for the chimney to take steam. • flow of liquid along the brewing process 9 . but trade effluent. attached to another development or at your own home are the most common locations. An easy to operate. it is advisable to visit several microbrewers. trade effluent. An industrial unit. most are willing to give a tour. – access to atmosphere for steam and CO2 that will not raise any objections. churches and historic building have the attraction of the USP. To acquire an appreciation of brewery layout and designs. building costs and planning problems will probably make these sites unavailable unless you own them in the first place. a farm building. – strong floors. – the space to expand. country house. commercially viable brewery should possess: – sufficient. PREMISES AND PLANT 3. – the flexibility to build internally and alter as required. EHO and HM Revenue & Customs.3 SITE.1 SITE AND LAYOUT Breweries can be put almost anywhere although the cost of some sites prohibits successful installations. The beautiful ideal of old watermills. – adequate electricity and water. height and access. – permissions in relation to planning. – potable water – poor pressure is disadvantage but can be overcome. attached to a pub.

the first washings from returned beds. as well as roof height and drainage.2 WASTE PRODUCTS Trade effluent falls into four main categories: 1. – there is not through flow of air. 4. chemical used in cleansing and sterilising.It is strongly advisable that a separate fermenting room is made available. 3. Brewery Size Barrels Area feet² Min-Max Total Electricity Required 2. 2. accidental or deliberate disposals of finished beer 10 . Area requirements for a brewery will depend upon several variables. The advantages are: – the micro climate is easier to control when atmospheric temperatures are extreme.5 250-500 20kw 240v 4 400-700 20kw 240v 6 700-1000 28kw 415v 8 800-1100 37kw 415v 10 1000-2000 40kw 415v If there is an intention to bottle real ale then an additional 200-300 feet² will be needed. thus limiting the chance of airborne infection. 3. Having outside secure or off-site storage also helps to reduce the area requirements. – easier to control pests. such as the position of windows and doors. – a minimal sum spent on preparing the walls and keeping them clean. residual sediment from the fermenting operation.

can be collected as a lump and ‘ploughed’ into the land. Alternatively permission may be granted with conditions. It is easier to apply for permission to dispose of all trade effluent down the mains. • expense of setting up settling tanks. – spent hops form the bottom for the copper make great compost when biodegraded 11 . these are largely washing and rinsing water and about 50% of the volume disposed could be described as drinkable. although the barrel washing procedure can be completed with steam. which causes a lot of problems at the treatment works. The water supplier is the usual source of permission to dispose. Full permission can take several months. There are small volumes of other effluent but the volumes and concentrations are usually very low.Mains drainage is strongly recommended. of course they will charge you extra for the privilege. Fines for illegal discharge of trade affluent can run to tens of thousands of pounds. With the exception of the cleaning chemicals. ideally as feed for livestock such as cattle and horses – the maximum amount should not exceed 30% of the diet. and therefore will want you as a customer. Not having mains drainage can incur additional costs and problems: • expense to carry it away in bulk. Minimising discharge will depend upon the restrictions imposed upon you by your effluent officer. The only real problem you will encounter with trade effluent is if the local wastewater treatment works is too small to handle the output – most microbreweries will not trouble a wastewater treatment works. – used malt (spent grain) can be given to a farmer. almost all of the effluent from a brewery is derived from organic sources. • reed beds Septic tanks are not suitable as demand varies too much. for example: – the sediment from the fermenter. As for the remaining volume discharge from a brewery.

Granting trade effluent consent will usually require a ‘sampling point’ for access to take readings. The hot liquor recovered from the chilling operation should be very hot. One (or two) settling tanks can be set in the drain to catch the solids and be emptied a couple of times a year. Therefore a 5-barrel brewery will need a minimum of 1000 litres capacity. 12 .3 PLANNING Breweries require B2 planning permission. An assessment of the attitude to planning in the early stage of a business proposal could lead to an early abandonment of a proposed site without incurring excessive expense. 3. One problem is that of irregular volumes of disposal. or it can take years and cost thousands of pounds. 3. In practice the total amount of trade effluent disposed of will probably be lower than a few large houses. and building that have special status or in special areas may be treated differently. it can be easy and cost very little. and if the HLT is properly insulated much of the energy can be held for the next brew. If a brewery is not already attached to your chosen building. If there is a desire to brew twice in a day then the HLT should be installed oversize to facilitate this requirement.The very small amount of toxic waste can be soured separately and removed off site (paid service). About 200 litres of liquor are required for every barrel brewed. and 3 to 6ke of energy input should be sufficient for most microbreweries.4 BASIC PLANT Hot Liquor Tank The Hot Liquor Tank (HLT) is the storage vessel for the hot water needed in the brewery. There will be some way of maintaining the temperature in the HLT. Brewpubs have different criteria for planning than other buildings.

Heat Exchanger An effective heat exchanger is required to rapidly cool the very hot worth. A by-product of the effective cooling of the beer is the recovery of hot liquor that can be stored hot and used for later brews. PHEs work by passing beer down thin stainless steel 13 . direct fired gas or in rate occasions by gas oil or kerosene. Less energy will be required to maintain a good rolling boil than to achieve the boil in the first place. This is a simple vessel where the malt mixed with the liquor and left to stand at ‘one’ temperature. The boiler operation is more efficient if the heat source is to one side of the vessel so the rolling boil is more efficient. to a temperature that is safe and desirable to pitch the yeast. If a copper is over powered it will be boiling before the transfer from the mash tun is complete. If it is under-powered then there will be unacceptable time delay from the end of the separate (transfer) to boil time. The multiple plate heat exchanger (PHE) is the favoured equipment for the chilling operation. direct fired gas tube. Control of the energy input will save time and provide efficient energy utilisation. Copper The boil is one of the simplest operations and enough energy has to be put into the vessel to complete the effective and efficient boil. as letting heat out prior to boiling is an unnecessary waste of energy and will add to time the brewing day. It is also important to be able to isolate the chimney from the copper until the boil is reached.Mash Tun Almost all UK based microbrewers use an infusion mash system. It is then fun off to the boiling vessel through an ‘underback’. There are other devices for cooling that achieve the chilling of the beer but not as efficiently. gas produced steam. The energy sources can be supplied via electrical elements. The ideal balanced operation will have around 10 minutes from the end of the transfer to boiling.

– to put condition in the beer. at best it will never need splitting. Cleaning does not necessarily require splitting of the equipment. All beer will need cooling or heating depending upon the requirements and the ambient temperatures. 14 . The shape and materials of fermenting vessels will largely depend upon the brewer’s experience. Fermenting Vessels A primary fermenting vessel can be made of many materials. Beer can be stored in tanks for several reasons: – it is cheaper than holding the beer in casks. The PHE should be specified to do the job required for the size of brewery.sheets when on the other side of the sheet is the cooling liquid. They must be enclosed and capable of withholding pressure. which is usually water (for the micro brewer). If this specification is sufficient then the PHE should give no trouble provided it is used correctly and cleaned properly. The frequency of splitting operation is reduced significantly is a pre filter is fitted. plastic. It is important that the temperature in the fermenter can be controlled otherwise beer will be lost. how often will depend upon your assessment based on the results of previous splitting and cleaning. They can be of many shapes and sizes. open topped or entirely closed. The main criteria for the material are that it is food grade and fully sterilized. The PHE is the biggest single point for potential problems and must be cleaned properly before EVERY brew. but chemical cleansing and sterilising is essential. Stainless steel and slate are common materials. At worst hop debris will impede its effective use and will need splitting every brew. A PHE will require splitting from time to time. Conditioning Tanks – Further Storage Conditioning tanks can be used to hold beer for longer periods. – to lower yeast counts.

£14. A blanket of CO2 may also be needed for flooding prior to filling or to maintain the condition of the beer.£61.6 litres – to more than £77.– To stabilise the CO2 content. Cold Liquor Tank This vessel will only be needed if: – the water pressure is poor. They will be filled from the bottom and the exclusion of oxygen is essential.700 – 12-barrel . CO2 may also need to be fed into the top to keep the open space in a sterile and controlled environment.200 – 20-barrel . an 8-barrel brewery will 15 . Beer will be pumped or fed by gravity to conditioning tanks. a spring. Prices for other kits are: – 2-barrel . – for delivery to another processing operation.£20.000 for 1-barrel kits – 1 ‘bulk’ barrel is 36 gallons/288 pints/163. – to store form the primary fermentation sediment.5 COSTS List prices for standard brewery kit from one of the leading suppliers PBC (Installations) range from just over £3. The most common cask is a 9-gallon firkin and 30 firkins are required for every bulk-barrel. for example. – to hold en-mass to prime for bottling. – the source is small. – very warm climate 3.000 – 8-barrel .£28.900 – 4-barrel .100 Casks represent a significant investment. – very cold liquor is needed (brewing lager). – for holding prior to bottling.000 for 40-barrel kits.£9. therefore.

Bottling is time consuming and unless done carefully prone to infection and oxidisation.require 240 firkins.50 per firkin. which at £80-85 each (new) represents an investment of circa £20. According to PBC.000k.000. a general guideline is that the setting up cost for a total brewery installation is 2 to 2. Starter-level bottling plant is very cheap (£600). The cost to produce a 4% ABV ale including ingredients duty and utilities is approximately £110 a bulk barrel or £27.5 times the kit prices making investment in a 1-barrel brewery less than £10. Labelling can also be done by hand or by machine (£1. 16 .8000).

many of them members of National Drink Distributors (NDD). Another route to market is via wholesalers. which has always been a keen supporter of local ales.com).nationaldrinks.co. 4. a consortium of independent licensed trade distributors (www.josephkeegan.uk).1 DRAUGHT There are several options for getting cask ale to market: – Local free trade – free trade landlords and owner-operators who are keen to offer a range of local beers – Brewing tied estates – pubs operated by larger (regional) brewers restrict the beers they sell to their own but there are a good many microbrewers operating pubs that do stock guest ales – Non-brewing pub chains – these range from large chains such as JD Wetherspoon. England and Wales including Specialist wholesalers operate in Gwynedd (Joseph Keegan & Sons. www. Dealing with a wholesales requires regular supply and this can be demanding for a young microbrewer. It is important to keep in mind that these routes-to-market are not mutually exclusive.4 ROUTE-TO-MARKET The two routes-to-market for microbrewers are draught sales (cask ale) and bottles. 17 . to small chains similary open to beer from small brewers – Leased and tenanted pubcos (pub companies) – pubcos are also tied but do allow their licensees some freedom to stock local beers In addition to these channels there are niche opportunities such as clubs and outside bars (bars at private and public events).

2 BOTTLED Commentators agree that this route-to-market continues to grow in importance. CAMRA has been successful in encouraging pubs to stock such locally produced real ales through a LocAle publicity scheme provided free of charge to participating pubs. However. where all pubs are able to offer one guest beer/ale. in particualr extending shelf life and opening up new routes-to-market. current and emerging avenues being exploited by microbrewers include: – Farm shops (farmers’ own and neighbouring) and farmers markets – Local shops including specialist outlets – Hotels and restaurants – Mail order and internet sales The majority of beer produced by Welsh independent brewers is in the form of draught real ale and for Welsh brewers to prosper they need to be able to sell their products through pubs close to where they brew.4. Though dominated by the major supermarket chains. Small Welsh brewers therefore only have access to approximately 30% of the market. CAMRA believes that to promote the development of the Welsh brewing sector a reform of the beer tie to open up the market to smaller brewers. 18 . Bottles also make it easy to provide samples for prospective buyers. campaigning in particular for the introduction of a guest beer right. many potential outlets for Welsh brewers/beers are blocked because of beer-tie arrangements. CAMRA believes that 70% of pubs in the UK are subject to a ‘beer tie’ that restricts the range of beer a pub is able to sell. It offers a number of advanatges over cask ale.

established by entrepreneurial individuals with a passion for excellence and good business acumen. to quality of brewing equipment and conditions. and prosper over time. Gwaun Valley. People’s route into microbrewing varied considerably. particularly at festivals and competitions. which had to generate income. they can produce reasonable returns. particularly in brewing and marketing. On a larger scale are the likes of highly successful. which took an opportunity to increase income from its hotel/restaurant/pub. views ranging from quality of ingredients. In the middle of these extremes was an engineer (Brian Dooley. who had been brewing for two years in an old milking shed to supplement farm and campsite income and has now developed the parlour into a brewpub for campsite visitors and locals. all agreed that initial training and 19 . Clearly there is healthy competition amongst regional brewers. Starting Out When asked about the motivation behind their ventures most talked about a love of real ale but emphasised that they were starting a business. and professional advice and support sought. and Len Davies. particularly barleys and hops recipes.5 FIRST HAND EXPERIENCE The Innovation Partnership interviewed a number of Welsh microbrewers to capture first hand experiences of setting up and running microbreweries. award-winning microbreweries Purple Moose and The Celt Experience. Preseli) who had run his own business for 40 years and wanted to indulge his passion for real ale. Microbreweries are not regarded as get-rich-quick schemes but if sensibly planned. and now sells successfully to local outlets. At the smaller end of the scale was Rotters Brewery. However. but there appears to be camaraderie with people willing to work together for the future of their industry. Training and Support In relation to key success factors there was a mixed response.

and all of those that responded said that they were interested in a local brew.500. many have been on supplier training courses lasting 2-4 days and costing £1. Purple Moose recruiting brewing consultants and The Celt Experience. seeking to develop relations with research establishments and key industry stakeholders. Market Research In looking to establish microbrewing ventures most interviewees undertook some form of proprietary research. Whist there was an element of trial and error (‘black art’). Investment Many spoken to by the Consultancy benefitted from Welsh (Assembly) Government and local authority grants to support entrepreneurship and new business starts. Others considered bottled ale as well as keg and contacted local retailers as well as pubs. Customers of PBC (Installations) received ongoing support. which is considered invaluable. see specialist input. More scientific training can obtained from colleges and universities from circa £4.500-£2. For example. there was a market. either new or second hand. covering aspects such as building and equipment and business planning. All commented that the research provided an indication that. from time to time. arguably the most professionally managed microbrewery in Wales. restaurants and hotels. all of those interviewed believed that within no more than five brews a saleable product was achieved.000 to several tens of 20 .000. According to Laurence Washington they received over 20% response rate (very good indeed). Brewers sourcing equipment. given the right price. notionally free of charge. and this gave them the confidence to pursue their plans. The likes of Purple Moose and The Celt Experience do. from a brewery equipment supplier.understanding of the brewing process and microbiology was critical. Grants ranged in size from approximately £5. The Purple Moose Brewery wrote to all the independent pubs in the region asking them to complete a simple questionnaire and received a very high response rate of more than 20% with all respondents expressing an interest in a local brew. felt that the support they received was excellent and very good valuefor-money.

This has many advantages in terms of planning and retail. It is advisable to keep informed about available funding through websites. Total investment by interviewed microbrewers in the ventures so far ranges from below £10. 21 . The costs of setting up in business as a microbrewer are covered in the accompanying Microbrewing Guide. which though attractive can introduce significant time and costs to set up.org. establish microbrewing businesses and undertake initial marketing and business development. which has the benefits of ready access to utilities (power.e. 20% (£5k) needs to be in cash.uk. The match funding. water) and straightforward planning.000 for a larger independent brewing house. these include a purpose-built factory. one case in point being the Brock Hampton Estate in Herefordshire where a National Trust farm building was turned into a microbrewery (email buildingdesignguide@nationaltrust. farm outbuildings.thousands of pounds. total project cost £25k. which can combine quality ale with good food. i. According to Buster Grant of the AWIB.e. That said. This provides a maximum grant of £20k (guideline) at 80% of total eligible project costs. a number of microbrewers have benefited from government grants to refurbish property. local authorities and the Welsh Government. Research also shows that some brewers have converted listed farm buildings or buildings in National Parks.000 for a brewpub (excluding aluminium casks) to well over £80. i. it may be possible to negotiate favourable terms. However. grants are now often being translated into repayable loans and are also in a state of flux due to changing government and investment priorities. brewpubs and short-term accommodation on a trading estate. The Innovation Partnership’s wider research has shown an increasing trend for the purchase and renovation of redundant pubs to include a microbrewery. telephone 01793 817791). Sites In terms of sites visited by The Innovation Partnership. That said Gwynedd Council is close to launching grants under the Local Products Supply Chain & Market Development Fund.

22 .In general the only watchwords expressed by interviews were ensuring that there is sufficient power. Tool and technques include: – sales promotions. the pump clip – press/public relations – published articles with both consumer and trade press can helpt to raise awareness. – point-of-purchase – this is also relevant for draught sales. Marketing principally revolved around promotion of the brewery/brand to raise awareness. although most agreed that after a period of a year or two they had become more familiar and comfortable with marketing and sales had started to reach reasonable levels. The Microbrewing Guide addresses these and other requirements when seeking to establish a brewing venture. These were based on things such as locality. i. acquiring a water extraction license and informing the local authority of the intended use. Most of the brewers found it enjoyable to think up the names of various brews. There is a range of promotional tools and techniques to consider.e. maritime themes as well as ‘spur of the moment’ ideas. Marketing and Sales Marketing and sales are the two activities that interviewees feared most and found most challenging. Others have worked on logos themselves. paying only a few hundred ponds. A number of the breweries created a common label. successful approaches tending to make use of more than one approach to ensure that customers and consumers are reached on a number of ocasions in different places. and found this to be value-for-money. which could be printed in different colours for different brews. This is principally because they had no prior marketing and sales experience. often with the help of family and friends. Some have used the services of local design consultants to create logos and labels.

for example. Even though many brewers had concerns about marketing. Most of the small microbrewers undertake this activity themselves but realise that when volumes allow a good sales person would be a worthwhile investment. two breweries work together under a ‘fill back’ scheme. one brewery that supplies the local J D Wetherspoons pub organises minibus trips for clients of Wetherspoons to visit the brewery. Some brewers have made use of use of some of the newer forms of communication such as social networking as well as more traditional methods to appeal direclty to the consumer. The majority of interviewees acknowledge that marketing and sales is a time consuming but vital activity. 23 . – website – can be used to conduct sales as well as helping to promote the brewery – social networking (Facebook. In this way there is an equal exchange of worth. For example.and online) – magazine advertising can be expensive as it needs to be maintained over a period of time whereas online advertising can be a more cost-effective approach. Owner/manager sales activity typically encompasses knocking on doors (local pubs. In another example. there are many examples of novel approaches.– advertising (off. Twitter. and an increase in choice for the consumer. while some progress to mail order sales. The barrels are then refilled by that brewery and then sent back for sale locally by the original brewery.). restaurants and retailers). reduced distribution costs. Here one brewery sells beer to a brewery in another location to be sold in that area. The main marketing and sales-related cost is a sales person. and attending local food and drink festivals and food marketing events. beer fesitvals. hotels. etc.

co. growing a small quantity of hops within Wales and also sourcing malting barley from Pembrokeshire. He purchased second-hand equipment costing in the region of £36k and received support from D A Smith Brewing Services & Consultancy (www. The 10-barrel brewery has a turnover in excess of £500k.brewingservices. Lawrence set up Purple Moose having undertaken his own research into the local market for real ale supported by a government grant. but according to Lawrence it is a 24/7 commitment. brewing skills and marketing & sales. Lawrence is comfortable marketing and promoting the business and he 24 . which needs to be blended with malting barley from England to achieve the required quality. There were and are no particular barriers to entry. The company employs 10 staff and has a turnover of £800k. According to Tom the real challenge is to persuade drinkers of household beer brands to switch to real ale – only 2% of the Welsh population (2. The brewery is also investing in development of the supply side. with 13 in North Wales. Tom believes that 100% Welsh ingredients is very much a long-term aspiration for the industry. When starting out there were only 3 microbrewers across Wales and now there are more than 40.6 MINI CASE STUDIES The Celt Experience The Celt Experience Brewery formed 7 years ago is arguably the most successful microbrewery in Wales run by Tom Newman and his wife. technical or commercial.5m) currently drink real ale.uk). In an effort to grow the business Tom is actively pursuing overseas as well as domestic opportunities. Lager is an opportunity being looked at but this is a more expensive product to produce due to the 12-week cycle compared to the 2-week cycle for real ale. quality equipment and ingredients. Tom emphasised that his is a professional business based on a good understanding of science (microbiology). Purple Moose Brewery Set up by Lawrence Washington who originally visited the Porthmadog area to assist in railway restoration.

in the area of micromalting. However. Len has experimented with malting barley and hops. but climate makes it challenging. for example. which has generated a great deal of positive PR. benefited from a government grant of £24k for building and equipment. he remains keen to keep trying. Production is kept below specified limits in order to attract the 50% reduction in duty. which 25 . Turnover is already running at £500k. current growing although not using the latter. Sales of cask and bottled ale are mainly to independent pubs and restaurants offering quality food and drink. locals and also various groups such as the Morgan (Cars) Owners Club. the brewery supplying independently owned pubs in addition to their own hotel/pub. The venture. including the local JD Wetherspoons. as well as restaurants and hotels. He is also open to collaboration with other microbrewers.has targeted awards for good beers. Gwaun Valley Brewery Len Davis and his family run a small microbrewery at their farm. which was set up 2 years ago. Rotters Brewery Father and son Pip and Glen Ellis moved into the pub and hotel trade 6 years ago and then 12 months ago took the decision to invest circa £20k to create their own microbrewery within the existing hotel complex they had developed. stating that a Welsh micromalting cooperative would make sense. Bottled ale is being considered. He estimated that a malting facility capable of malting 20 tonnes would cost in the region of £1m. Development included an ‘attraction centre’ designed to host visitors who can sample the beer for free and then purchase the product. an independent wine merchant also takes the companies brews. Current production is focused on cask ale. total investment running to £80k. Visitors include residents of the farm’s adjacent campsite. Lawrence expressed an interest in local crops and also malting – if crops were grown locally and then sent to England food miles would be generated and there may be issues with the security of the barley supplied. Sales of cask ales are made to local pubs.

The brewery is based on a small industrial estate providing ready access to utilities and straightforward planning. 26 .would open up new routes-to-market including mail order. and are looking to get into the Good Beer Guide. Investment so far has totalled £25k. A website is currently under construction. a refurbished mill in the centre of Talgarth where there is also an opportunity to site a microbrewery in the visitor attraction centre. Brian works with food cooperative Pembrokeshire Produce Direct. Brian purchased equipment from PBC (Installations) and also received training from the company. Preseli Brewery Brian Dooley set up Preseli Brewery after 40 years working as an electrical contractor. They are interested in the local sourcing of ingredients and believe that microbreweries can learn from each other. £5k of which has been spent on equipment. They attend CAMRA events and beer festivals. the PPD quality mark helping his brand to stand out. and has also now added lower cost ‘bag-in-box’ packaging for the home party market. Pip and Glen are also looking at a potential new retail outlet. Brian estimates that the payback period for his investment will be 5 years. The brewery supplies both cask and bottled ale.

7 USEFUL CONTACTS Association of Welsh Independent Breweries www.pbcbreweryinstallations.camra.com 27 .org.org.uk Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) 01727 867201 www.awib.uk PBC (Brewery Installations) Ltd 07976 845705 www.