Fourpure brewery expansion gathers pace

By James Beeson

- Last updated on GMT

Tremendous growth: Fourpure has at least doubled its sales volume every year since 2014
Tremendous growth: Fourpure has at least doubled its sales volume every year since 2014

Related tags: Brewing

One of London’s best-known craft breweries has outlined plans to expand its production capacity by 300%.

Fourpure brewery head brewer John Driebergen said the reported £2m investment would take the brewery “to the next level” by giving his brewing team “far greater control over every brewing parameter”. 

The brewery hopes to have the expansion, which includes the installation of a new state-of-the-art brewhouse and 12 new fermentation vessels, complete by November of this year.

On the decision to expand, Driebergen said: “We’re always keen on making that next investment, which will take us to the next level as a brewery,” he said. “We’re currently operating on a way higher technical level than we ought to be for our capacity.

“We are investing in a four-vessel, 40hl brewhouse manufactured by a German company. It’s state of the art and fully automated, and will allow us far greater control over every brewing parameter, as well as allowing us to brew up to eight times per day.

“What I’m most excited about is that we’ll be able to brew three beers in the time it takes us to brew one and a half, and the quality and consistency will be incredible. It’s a little bit like driving a luxury car as opposed to the clunker we are driving around now."

Improved sustainability 

The expansion will also help improve the brewery’s sustainability; something Driebergen said was a key factor in deciding what investments to make. 

“Our investments are driven by the two categories of beer quality and sustainability,” he said. “Those are considered to the same degree and are the driving factors behind every investment we make.”

“The brewhouse itself is far more efficient, we’re moving over to a steam boiler, which is a lot more efficient, and there will be a lot less energy wasted because we’ll be brewing a lot more frequently.

“We’re also investing in a new fully automated carbonator, which should use about 5% of the carbon dioxide that we currently use to carbonate our beers.”

Tremendous growth

Despite growing at a remarkable rate (the brewery has at least doubled its sales volume every year since being founded in 2014), Driebergen was keen to emphasise that the brewery, and the craft beer sector as a whole, remained only a tiny slice of the overall market.

“We now employ 47 employees, having started with just three,” he said. “The only thing currently holding us back is our capacity. We’ve seen tremendous growth in recent years, primarily driven by the craft beer sector.”

“However, less than 1% of the market by production volume is from independent breweries. We (craft brewers) are all focused on the same thing and have the same goals, and hence we are more willing to be collaborative and help each other.”

In a wide-ranging interview, Driebergen also stated his belief that pubs and bars should invest more in training their staff and improve hygiene standards​ if they want to boost sales of craft beer.

Related topics: Beer

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