Thornbridge announces £2m investment to make more beer

By Nicholas Robinson

- Last updated on GMT

Thornbridge Simon Walkden (L) and Rob Lovatt (R)
Thornbridge Simon Walkden (L) and Rob Lovatt (R)

Related tags Brewing

Thornbridge Brewery has announced a £2m investment plan, which will see the installation of a new bottling line, an increase in brewing capacity and improved logistical and warehousing facilities.

The investment forms part of the business’s plans to increase total turnover by 80% over the next three years and follows the launch of its first international bar in the Netherlands last year.

The Derbyshire-based brewer will split the investment plan into two phases, the first of which will see a new bottling line installed, which is expected to be completed at the end of the summer.

German company KHS will supply the equipment for the bottling line, said head brewer Rob Lovatt.

‘Beer quality’

“The quality of beer is paramount to us,” he added. “With almost 50% of our beer being in bottles it’s critical we have the best, most technically up-to-date bottling line to ensure a quality beer time after time.

Find out about Future Trends: Beer and Cider below

“KHS is a market leader in filling and packaging lines, with over 140 years of experience, so we are in good hands. My brewing team is always looking for continuous improvement in all of our processes and the new equipment will enable us to achieve extremely low levels of dissolved oxygen in the beer and so retain a greater taste and freshness.”

Chief financial officer Simon Walkden said: “We are an ambitious company and have been planning for this investment over the past 12 months.

“It’s not all about equipment though as, in preparation for a 70% expansion to our brewing capacity, we have employed an additional 11 staff to take overall employee numbers to 46.”

‘First bar in the Netherlands’

Meanwhile, Thornbridge’s first Den Bosch-based bar in the Netherlands​ was launched in July last year in response to its increase in exports of its craft beers to more than 30 countries over the past five years.

The firm worked in partnership with local on-trade business owner Paul Leeyen, who urged the brewer to open a bar in the Netherlands, for three years prior to the launch.

At the time Thornbridge’s chief operating officer Simon Webster said: “Partnerships with importers and those managing bars that stock our beer are crucial to ensure they reach drinkers in the best condition.

“It really continues what we have been doing in the UK and on export – find and work with people who are as passionate about beer as we are and have skills that complement what we wish to do with Thornbridge beers.”

Meanwhile, the Publican’s Morning Advertiser’s ​first Future Trends: Beer & Cider event is set to take place on 22 June and will delve into future new product development and innovation trends in the sector.

Headline speaker Bob Pease, president and CEO of the US Brewers Association, will outline the craft beer and cider movement in the US and predict how the future of the UK’s could look.

For more information about the event and to book your place, contact Joanne Horton by email at wbnaar.ubegba@jeoz.pbz​ or by phone on 01293 610403

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