Led by managing director Stephen Gould, the business has undertaken a series of dramatic innovations in the past few years, in particular the Project William estate building scheme, which sees Everards purchase run-down or closed pubs and then hand them over to a tenant/small brewer to run and showcase their own beers – with the only caveat that it sells one Everards beer.
Additionally, Everards, currently in an ageing brewery on the Fosse leisure and business park outside of Leicester, is moving home, into a multi-million-pound, sustainable, artistan-led brewery, shop, bakery and production unit operation, which will also see the brewer cut back on its third-party, contract operations and focus on supplying its core range of beers to its pub estate.
The business now operates with what it calls ‘business owners’ rather than tenants, and has achieved growth in cask ale sales and turnover in the past year. It uses the analogy of being like a book, with the pub being the story, the licensee the author and the brewery acting as the publisher. As a result, it wants to work at arm’s length, empowering tenants to make decisions and run their businesses in the most effective way without interference.
The cask ales – which have also been re-badged, with new pump clips provided to tenants – have grown by 3%. The churn rate of tenants is less than 20% at present and the estate hasn’t been rationalised in the past few years but, instead, has grown due to the Project William initiative, refurbishment projects and new business owners coming on stream.