Bath Ales edges closer to opening new brewery site

By James Beeson

- Last updated on GMT

Gem of a milestone: (from left) head brewer Darren James, Vicky Guy, Sarah Mann, Rowena Garland and St Austell Brewery’s Brewing Director Roger Ryman
Gem of a milestone: (from left) head brewer Darren James, Vicky Guy, Sarah Mann, Rowena Garland and St Austell Brewery’s Brewing Director Roger Ryman

Related tags Bath ales Brewing Beer

Bath Ales’ new multi-million pound brewery has reached its latest milestone, ahead of opening in the spring.

Twelve new fermenting vessels have now been lifted into place as work constructing the brewery edges closer to completion. With final pipework and electrical installation underway, the new plant is now close to commission with a ‘first-brew’ date set for 14 March..

The exciting investment project, which is on track to open in May 2018, is set to double the available brewing capacity at Bath Ales.

The newly named Hare Brewery is being built at Bath Ales’ existing headquarters in Warmley, between Bath and Bristol. Fronted by flagship ale Gem, the four-vessel brew house will have the capacity to produce more than 50,000 brewers’ barrels of beer – close to 14.5m pints a year.

English lager plans

As well as Bath Ales’ existing range of beers, for the first time, the West Country brewer will also be able to create a lager. A schedule of new beers will also launch alongside the brewery opening, including an IPA.

Darren James, senior brewer, who has been with Bath Ales for almost 15 years, expressed his excitement at soon being able to unveil the brewery.

“As we edge ever closer to completion, the brewing team can’t wait to start using the new kit,” he said. “The brew house’s versatility means we can experiment with even more beer styles, alongside what Bath Ales drinkers already know and love.

 “Thanks to the installation of a lauter tun, for the first time we’ll have the equipment, and capacity, to brew an English lager. It’ll be brewed to exacting technical standards and we hope it’ll be an anticipated new addition to the English premium lager category.”

James added: “We’ve used the opening of the brewery to make sure our core range is as good as it can possibly be. Along with the lager, we’ll also be launching a west coast IPA into the permanent Bath Ales range.” 

St Austell investment

Bath Ales was acquired by fellow West Country brewer and pub company, St Austell Brewery, in July 2016, and plans for the Hare Brewery were announced shortly afterwards.

The independent company, which is still family-owned, says it is committed to a long-term investment growth plan for the Bath Ales brand and business.

Alongside the major brewery build, brewing director Roger Ryman, who oversees brewing and production at Bath Ales and St Austell Brewery, has used the project as an opportunity to grow and strengthen the core brewing and beer-quality team.

“From the outset, the team had a very clear vision for the new brewery, and it’s really exciting to see it start to take shape as all the major equipment gets fixed into place,” Ryman said. “While it’s full steam ahead for the project, the transition, when the new brewery opens, will be very much business as usual for our customers.”

“We have a highly skilled brewing team in place at Bath Ales. Our people, coupled with the very best technical equipment and support, along with only choosing the best ingredients for our beers, means we’ve got all the tools we need to take Bath Ales into its exciting next chapter.”

“We hope opening of the project will put a shining light on the brewery industry in the south-west and beyond, and we can’t wait to open the doors to our loyal customers.”

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