Fourpure pumps £2m into new brewhouse

By Nikkie Sutton

- Last updated on GMT

Brothers in arms: Dan and Tom (l-r) Lowe started Fourpure in 2013
Brothers in arms: Dan and Tom (l-r) Lowe started Fourpure in 2013
Craft brewery Fourpure will be investing £2m into a new brewhouse in a bid to increase capacity and turnover, its founder Dan Lowe told The Morning Advertiser.

The Bermondsey-based brewery in south London was born in 2013 by brothers Dan and Tom Lowe, who claim that beer is their passion, and their travels are what inspires them to brew.

The seven-figure sum investment will mean that new equipment will be purchased for the brewhouse, which will located adjacent to the current site, to make brewing easier.

Dan said: “We are putting around £2m of investment into a brand-new brewhouse and will be upgrading our equipment across our whole production side.

“The real focus for us is to improve beer quality and to keep efficient and technologically up to date in terms of the brewery.

“Our original brewhouse was second hand. It has done us well but it is extremely manual, so our team, which currently produces around three brews a day will be able to get eight to 10 brews out.

“This will reduce all the manual work for everyone and make a more consistent output.”

However, growing quickly can come with its issues and complications but there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Future plans for growth

Dan said: “For us, growing at the rate we have, we have gone from being a start-up with no market presence through to now where we are a brewery that will turn over around £6m by the end of this quarter.

“We will grow our staff from 48 to 60 by the end of the year and this rate of growth is extremely challenging to do, especially while maintaining and increasing the quality of our beer.”

Meanwhile, last year (September), a “micro-canned” real ale from a Bristol brewer won an accreditation from the Campaign for Real Ale​ and Dan believes that canning is the way forward.

He said: “We are only three and a half years old so that's pretty young in the scale of breweries in the UK but we have always had our view on canning.

“We have always canned our beer and ensured our canning equipment is at the forefront of the quality that can be achieved.

“Our growth in small pack is all canned and we don’t have any acceptance issues around cans that people spoke about some time ago.

“Cans provide a better beer quality due to the protection from light and a superior seal from oxygen, and they also speak a lot to our sustainability aims as a business.”

In 2013, when Fourpure entered the market, cans made them stand out from the crowd.

He said: “We came in with our entire range in cans, which was a difference for a brand coming into the craft beer market, which already had a lot of breweries and that's just in London."

Doing something different

Dan continued: “We were coming in and we needed to do something different.”

Craft beer is a trend that will stay says Dan, thanks to it adding a different option for consumers.

He said: “The diversity offered by craft beer brands is something that is slightly different to a macro brand.

“It adds something different in addition to the regional brewers and adds a third stream for drinkers.

“There are challenging times ahead for the craft brewing industry because of the volume of breweries that have opened even just in the past three years.”

Dan questioned how many of the upcoming breweries will be successful and be able to support customers properly.

He added: “There will be a period of difficulty with these businesses growing and I am hoping this doesn’t follow through too much into quality because it would not be good for that to impact the whole sector, but it is certainly a risk.”

Fellow London brewery Hop Stuff launched its core range of beers in 330ml cans​ earlier this year (March).

The range consists of four brews: Arsenal Pale Ale (3.8% ABV), Four House Session (4.2% ABV), Unfiltered Pilsner (5% ABV), and Renegade IPA (5.6% ABV), which have been available in select on-trade venues since April. 

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