As some of you may be aware we have spent much of the last year planning our expansion to new premises. We have been at full capacity at our current site for around 2 years and need a bigger brew kit and more space to allow us to grow into some of the demand we are experiencing.
We are also desperate to install a bottle/canning line to allow us to get more of our beer into your hands at home, something that isn’t possible/practical at the current site due to space constraints. The final and key part of the expansion was the installation of an on site tasting room to allow people to visit our brewery, taste the beers at source and buy beer to take home with them.
We identified what we thought was the perfect site 18 months ago, close to the Town centre on an industrial estate with excellent transport links. We were transparent with all parties regarding our intentions and liaised with the local authorities from the outset. We gained planning permission for the brewing operation and tap room at the beginning of the year and agreed terms with the landlord. Last week we were granted premises license for all the onsite tasting room and off site sales activity we were proposing.
Unfortunately at the last minute our prospective landlords at the site have decided they are not happy with the tasting room activity we are proposing. I’ve spent the last 3 weeks attempting to convince the landlord of our intentions and trying to explain the difference between our proposed tasting room and a city centre pub but they have been infuriatingly unwilling to soften their stance. It is therefore with great regret that we have been forced to drop our interest in the site.
As you can imagine this is a considerable set back for us, not least because we have a new 50hl brew kit and 100hl tanks due in 12 weeks and nowhere to put them, but we are not willing to compromise what we want from the expansion especially the tasting room which we consider an integral part.
From our point of view its imperative that we have a good relationship with our landlord going forward, the expansion and lease represent a seven figure investment for the business and as we don’t know what the future will hold we’re not prepared to go forward with a landlord who appears opposed to our business from the start.
Everyone we have talked to locally from members of the council to the local MP have been very enthusiastic about our plans. We have satisfied all the local authorities enquiries and spent a considerable amount of money on architects plans and solicitors fees. We also had builders, electricians, plumbers, specialist flooring companies etc..etc.. waiting in the wings ready to start work.
We are all extremely disappointed at the amount of time, money and effort we’ve wasted to date on the proposed site and especially annoyed we were not warned of any potential problem earlier in the process so that we could have dropped our interest earlier and found alternative premises.
We are now busy identifying new premises for the expansion and hope we can get something sorted quickly but it realistically looks like its going to be sometime next year before we can get up and running at a new site. Unfortunately this also means that it’ll be some more time until we’re up and running with volume of bottles or cans and we can only apologise for this.
No one is sadder than us about this situation but we’re hopeful it will be for the best eventually, and we thought it right that we let everyone know what was happening.SHARE THIS