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Rebellion Beer Company

19-Jun-2003

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by Claire Hu Who are they? A 10-year-old Buckinghamshire microbrewery that has just won the supreme champion award in the Society of Independent Brewers' wheat beer challenge with its 4.5% abv Rebellion White. More important than receiving the winner's silver salver is the fact that supermarket chain Safeway, which sponsors the challenge, will now stock 500ml bottles of Rebellion White on its shelves. This will help get Rebellion's name in front of a much larger audience, and hopefully increase sales dramatically, both inside and outside of the brewery's heartland around its Marlow Bottom base. Main brands: Rebellion IPA, a 3.7% abv real ale, is the star performer and accounts for 50% of production, followed by Smuggler (4.1% abv) and Mutiny (4.5% abv). It also brews seasonal and monthly ales. Only 5% of the brewery's production is given over to bottled beers, although this will now change thanks to winning the Safeway listing. Don't mention: Pubcos, large brewers and the abolition of the guest beer provision. Like most small brewers, Rebellion finds it hard work getting a listing with pubcos because of the discounts they demand from suppliers. Employees: 11 Future plans? Rebellion bought the old Pilot brewery from Courage five years ago and could easily double capacity from its present 120 barrels per week. This looks unlikely as the company would not benefit from the reduction in duty introduced last year to help small brewers. It wants to consolidate sales within a 40-mile radius of the brewery to minimise distribution costs and maximise margins. Three months ago, Rebellion bought the lease of its first pub, the Three Horseshoes in Marlow, and "will see how it goes" trade-wise. If successful, other acquisitions might be planned, but "they will be leases ­ pubs sell for £1m around Marlow".

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