Fresh look and new investment at Barnsley brewery

A Barnsley brewery committed to tradition has adopted a new look for modern times and announced thousands of pounds worth of investment in growth.

Acorn Brewery has refreshed its branding and announced it will spend £60,000 on new brewing equipment and office space to mark its 12th anniversary.

Dave Hughes, owner of Acorn Brewery said: “We have been trading for 12 years now and have not changed our branding over that time, but feel the time is right for a refresh now.

“The brewing industry has changed a lot since we started in the summer of 2003 and, particularly in the last six years or so. There are now many more independent brewers out there and it is much more important to have a clear stand-out identity at the pumps and on the supermarket shelf.”

Acorn has worked with Barnsley-based design agency DMSQD to develop its new branding which draws on aspects of its former image, including colour scheme and the acorn logo, but develops a stronger connection and sense of identity across all its products.

Dave added: “It was very important to us that our new look reflects our ‘brewery spirit’ of tradition and innovation. The integrity of the business and our signature ales remain largely the same as we are committed to traditional brewing techniques, but we have extended our range and evolved our flavours a little over time, plus we regularly innovate with new IPAs and have introduced kegged beer products.

“It has been fantastic working with DMSQD who have understood what we are about completely and developed for us an updated image which uses a clear and attractive chalkboard effect.”

Acorn’s new branding has been translated on to pump clips, bar mats and bottle labels.

The rebrand marks a period of expansion at the brewery. This summer, they will invest in new conditioning tanks, an extended cold room store and new office space at their Aldham House industrial estate premises in Wombwell.

Dave said: “Our three new conditioning tanks will mean an extra 15,000 litres of real ale can undergo the week-long conditioning process at any one time. This is when we monitor the beer’s development before we judge it to be perfectly full-bodied, flavoursome and ready to cask.

“The extra capacity at this stage will loosen up the whole production process and mean we can brew more beer to meet growing demand.”

The company’s larger cold store will mean Acorn can keep more hops on the one hand and bottled beers ready for collection on the other – all at the optimum temperature of below 14º degrees centigrade.

And a new office area will be created to give the brewery’s expanding sales team its own dedicated space for the first time.
Acorn Brewery’s development has been supported through Enterprising Barnsley, a European-funded programme delivered by Barnsley Council which supports local businesses to grow and create jobs.

The company has a turnover of £1.2 million and employs 12 people. After doubling production over the last seven years, it now produces around 30,000 pints of real ale a week.

Sales have increased 12 per cent in the past 12 months and Acorn delivers direct to more than 400 pubs and bars in the north and midlands and supplies hundreds of others via wholesalers. It sells into the UK’s top five supermarket chains and 50 independent retailers, plus exports its bottled beer to Italy via a whole sale customer.

Dave said: “With our latest investment and new image we are prepared to go on increasing production and sales. Our aim is to increase trade again by at least 20 per cent this year.”

Acorn Brewery produces six permanent ales; Barnsley Bitter, Barnsley Gold, Yorkshire Pride, Blonde, Gorlovka and Old Moor Porter. It also produces a range of seasonal IPAs and kegged beers.

The company also owns the Old Number 7 pub in Barnsley town centre, which it acquired in 2011, and between eight and 10 percent of all its beer is now sold there.

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BrauBeviale 2015: Welcome “home” – Sector get-together with heart and mind

The positive anticipation is great! After an impressive start to the new round of BrauBeviale – 1,128 exhibitors and 37,200 visitors in 2014 – the European beverages trade world is already counting down the days to the next get-together in Nürnberg. From 10th to 12th November at this year’s most important investment goods fair for the beverages industry, the entire focus will once again be on the process chain of beverages production: high-quality raw materials, high-performance technologies, efficient logistics solutions as well as sparkling marketing ideas – this is what it is about for all those who take their place at the sector’s traditional, regular meeting place.

Never change a winning team – that could be this year’s motto. “Last year BrauBeviale was impressive for all those involved”, says a delighted Director Exhibitions Andrea Kalrait. And she is promising: “Our new concept has really proved itself and that is why we will of course be sticking to it. Here and there we will still be making a few minor adjustments in order to obtain the best for all those involved!” The positive mood in all halls reflected an innovative and creative sector, which is always in motion and searching for specific, individual solutions. This is where the decision-makers come together and use the platform for dialogue and an exchange with their customers and interested parties.

In Hall 9 sommeliers at five separate tasting bars will each be dedicating themselves to a theme: hops, malt, yeast, specialties and different types of glasses for differentiated drinking pleasure. Here, particularly for trade visitors from the retail sector and catering industry, there is the opportunity to discover exceptional beers on an impartial and neutral basis. Partners in the tasting zone are Doemens, Rastal, Sahm, Spiegelau and TU Weihenstephan. The Craft Beer Corner information is available on the website at

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SIBA to partner Craft Beer Rising

The Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) has become the official partner to the Craft Beer Rising show, held at Drygate Brewery in Glasgow on 4-5 September.

The partnership will deliver exposure for SIBA in all publicity for Craft Beer Rising including advertising in the event programme, PR, email campaigns and social media.

Tony Jerome, SIBA’s director of communications & membership, said, “We’re delighted to have agreed this partnership, which will raise SIBA’s profile, deliver benefits for our members, and help us achieve our vision of becoming the ‘voice of British brewing’.

“Our 825 independent craft brewer members produce quality, innovative beers – in cask, keg, bottle and cans – that put them at the forefront of the exciting British craft brewing scene. We hope that our partnership with Craft Beer Rising will encourage brewers outside SIBA to realise the benefits we can offer them and become members, to make us a more representative organisation.”

Daniel Rowntree, organiser of Craft Beer Rising said, “Our partnership with SIBA is a perfect alliance. It is important we organise an event that encompasses small and large breweries so that we represent the exciting range of British craft brewing. Craft Beer Rising will also give the exhibiting breweries a chance to market their quality products to both the trade and consumers.”

Jerome added, “Our agreement with Craft Beer Rising is for the Glasgow show but, depending on how this first event works for both parties, we’d like to extend the partnership to Craft Beer Rising in London next spring.”

Craft Beer Rising, Drygate Brewery, Glasgow.

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Ricoh Arena and Wasps toast new partnership with Purity Brewing Co.

Award-winning craft brewer Purity Brewing Co. is marking its 10th anniversary by forming an exciting new partnership with the Ricoh Arena and Wasps.

The Midlands’ based market leader in craft ales, based in Warwickshire, has joined forces with the Ricoh Arena’s owners, Wasps, as it looks to extend its support of rugby throughout the West Midlands – in the year when the Ricoh is also celebrating its 10th anniversary.

Purity, which has established a range of successful partnerships with rugby clubs in the area, has already been working alongside Wasps to trial the offering to supporters and visitors to the Ricoh Arena, with tremendous feedback.

From 5th September when Wasps take on Samoa, Purity beers will be available throughout the arena and the Wasps faithful will be able to enjoy Purity’s Pure UBU and Pure Gold brands, with Pure Gold being an appropriate tipple for fans of the ‘men in black and gold.’

Andy Gibb, Managing Director of the Ricoh Arena, said: “Purity has developed a regional and national reputation for providing high-calibre craft beers from their headquarters in nearby Warwickshire and, just like the Ricoh Arena, are constantly looking to develop new markets.

“This partnership is a perfect fit for both parties and their beers will be really popular with visitors to the Ricoh Arena.”
Luke Organ, Group Commercial Director, Wasps, said: “We are proud to partner with a craft brewery which is highly respected for its attention to detail, quality of product and strength of brand.

“Since arriving at the Ricoh Arena, we have conducted many fan surveys and a recurring request has been for a wider range of ales. We are delighted to have fulfilled this request, partnering with one of the most popular and successful breweries in the Midlands and we have no doubt Wasps supporters and visitors to the Ricoh Arena will be delighted with the extensive range of ales that Purity will be supplying.”

Paul Halsey, Managing Director at Purity Brewing Company, said: “A partnership between Purity and the Ricoh Arena is all about creating the perfect event day experience and reflects our belief in a more discerning beer drinking public. Working with Wasps and the Ricoh Arena is testament to the ongoing success of our original mission, which is to brew great beer without prejudice, with a conscience and with a consistency and an attention to detail, which is second to none.

“We are delighted that so many people are going to get to try Pure Gold and Pure UBU in tip-top competition. Craft beer has been much heralded in the press in recent years and the movement is extraordinarily dynamic. It has long been argued that craft beer is all about small scale brewing, but at Purity we don’t believe that to be the case.

“For us, craft brewing is about using the finest ingredients and taking care of the beer you make. It is not scale dependent and as such we are proud to lead the charge into such a partnership and deliver great beer to the masses. We have seen how much value craft beer has added to the supporter experience with the likes of the Seattle Mariners, San Francisco Giants and the Portland Timbers in the US and want to emulate and surpass that. It is a truly exciting time for Purity Brewing Co. and reflects the forward thinking and ambitious approach being adopted by the Ricoh Arena and Wasps.”

Purity, which will be on sale for all events at the arena, joins the brand family which includes RICOH, Land Rover, EMC2, E.ON, DS Smith, Under Armour, Pins & Stripes, Majestic and Causeway.

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Charles Faram team inspect the new varieties on their hop breeding programme

After a whirlwind few weeks of visiting Herefordshire and Worcestershire hop yards before the September harvest, the Charles Faram sales team and potential new variety hop growers inspected the new plants being grown on the Charles Faram Breeding Programme.

Five information packed hours were spent walking the plots and the nursery, last Friday night, while getting updated by Peter Glendinning the breeding expert.

Peter demonstrated the new varieties and took the team to visit the rows of parent plants, while identifying each one by memory, including how long they had been in the ground for and which specific plants were parents to each new variety, identified only by a number.

Paul Corbett, Managing Director said that “We are especially looking for intense fruity, floral or citrus flavours whilst also trying to find wilt resistant Fuggle and Golding types. It is also important that they are strong and resistant to petalling once dried”.

The hop growers taking part in the programme are mostly concerned with the yield from the crop, pickability and resistance to diseases. Low yields, difficulty with the picking machines and disease can of course mean higher costs with time, resource and a bad harvest.

The Charles Faram Pre-hopwalk seminars on 8th September are focussing purely on hops this year, and include a “not to be missed” update on the breeding programme.

To see more photos from Friday, visit the Charles Faram facebook page or follow us on twitter @charlesfaram

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Vigo install canning lines at Harbour Brewing & Wild Beer

Vigo Ltd, silver sponsors of SIBA, have installed American Beer Equipment (ABE) canning lines at The Harbour Brewing Co and The Wild Beer Co.

In April Vigo announced its partnership with ABE, becoming their UK agents. Jon Clatworthy, Vigo’s Commercial Sales Director said, “Cans, as well as being convenient, help protect beer from light and oxygen and retain fresh hop flavours. We chose ABE because they developed their LinCan™ canning line in response to the needs of craft brewers and they have an excellent reputation in the US for design and manufacture. We have an excellent reputation in the UK for supply, technical service and full engineering support.”

LinCan™ lines include a twist rinser, 7 head filling station, seamer, rinser, airblower and packing table. To minimise oxygen pickup there is a CO2 purge, a fob pulse and under-lid CO2 jet.

In July Vigo supplied, installed and commissioned LinCan™ 30 can per minute lines at The Harbour Brewing Co and The Wild Beer Co.

Eddie Lofthouse, co-founder of the progressive Harbour Brewing Co, reports that their sales have increased by 30% since introducing cans. Eddie said, “Vigo has been integral to the success of our business so far. They give us good service, and the knowledge, backup, and support of their staff is excellent.”

Since beginning canning, Co-Director of the innovative Wild Beer Co, Brett Ellis gave the following feedback, “We chose Vigo for the canning line because we have an excellent existing relationship with them and they offered the right product at the right time – and the right price. The cans have met our highest expectations.”

For more information about canning lines call Vigo on 01404 892100 or email .

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A Brace of wins for The Durham Brewery – Bede’s Chalice and Finchale Abbaye

Very well known for its bottle conditioned beers, The Durham Brewery has been winning with bottled beers since getting Gold at GBBF for Evensong. Steve got his initial bottle inspiration from Belgian beers many years before even thinking about starting a brewery. Well, this year came two awards for Belgian style beer.

Bede’s Chalice is a Belgian style tripel which has been winning awards with British Bottlers’ Institute and International Beer Challenge since 2010. This year brought Gold in the strong ales class with British Bottlers’ Institute. The name derives from St Bede who is buried in Durham Cathedral. Monks were brewers of ale, which was a part of their daily diet. We are sure Bede would have loved this strong, golden, coriander laced ale. A tripel is a strong light coloured beer, should not be too heavy, and should be well balanced. At 9% abv Bede’s Chalice fits the bill perfectly and can described as liquid bread.

Finchale Abbaye is a newcomer, and silver in World Beer Awards Belgian Style Strong is its first award. This 10% abv, full bodied and very dark beer has coffee and roast notes with a big punch of alcohol. Visitors to our shop say, “I couldn’t drink much of that”. Steve retorts, “you’re not supposed to!” Its complexity and massive body make it a sipper rather than a supper. The name comes from a local ruined abbey which the Durham monks used as a holiday retreat. Abbaye is the Belgian term for Trappist type beer brewed by lay brewers.

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It’s ‘ale’ in a great day’s work at the annual food and drink ‘Oscars’ for The Chiltern Brewery

Bottled beers from The Chiltern Brewery have won a total of 8 Gold Stars between them in an outstandingly successful year at the Great Taste Awards 2015, described by some as the Oscars of the food and drink world.

Three Hundreds Dark Old Ale 5.0% Vol. was the star of a packed show, winning a maximum 3 Gold Stars and narrowly taking the spotlight from Bodger’s Barley Wine 8.5% vol with 2 stars. Only 130 out of the 10,000 products entered are awarded 3 Gold Stars and just 597 attain 2 stars. A stellar supporting cast of Lord-Lieutenant’s Cream Porter 6.0% vol, Glad Tidings 4.6 vol and Battle of Britain Old Ale 5.0% vol won a highly creditable one Gold Star each.

The ‘star’ of the show

The Great Taste Awards, held each year, are organized by the Guild of Fine Food and are the acknowledged benchmark for fine food and drink in the UK. The Great Taste logo on a product is intended to be a sign of trust and quality for the consumer. The products entered are judged on their taste alone and no other criteria.

This year over 400 judges came together at 49 judging days held from March to early July 2015. The judges from all corners of the food world, blind-tasted the food and drink products in teams of 4 or 5 ensuring a balance of expertise, age and gender.

From the very start the ethos at The Chiltern Brewery has been to brew natural, wholesome beers using 100% British ingredients – the best Class A malt and hops with great provenance and to mirror age old brewing methods. 35 years on, The Chiltern Brewery remains the oldest independent brewery in Buckinghamshire and the Chiltern Hills.

The extensive and varied range of bottled beers features fresh new vibrant branding by leading design agency Dirty Design in Bristol, capturing the spirit and flavour of the rural splendour of the Chiltern Hills.

The beers are available online or at various independent outlets and from the brewery shop in Terrick.

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Cumbrian brewery sells beer in one of Britain’s most famous luxury department stores

A Cumbrian brewery is celebrating after one of the UK’s most famous high end retailers agreed to stock its beer.

Eden Brewery, which is based in Brougham Hall, near Penrith, learned earlier this month that the world famous Selfridge’s department store is to begin stocking its Eden Gold at three of its four stores.

The beer – a subtly hopped blonde ale – will be on sale at the chain’s flagship store in Oxford Street, London, as well as stores at the Bull Ring, Birmingham, and the Trafford Centre, in Manchester.

The beer will be supplied via distributor Best of British beer, which has been stocking Eden Brewery’s products for a number of years.

Eden Gold will be delivered to Selfridges for the first time at the end of this month.

Brewer Jason Hill said the development was another success for the business, which last year saw growth of nearly 100%.

He said: “Selfridges is one of the most famous names in retail in the UK and a brand that is synonymous with luxury and quality. The fact they are stocking our beer is a really positive sign that we are producing a high quality product, but also something that has the extra edge that takes it to the next level.

“Eden Gold has been one of our best sellers over the last couple of years, probably because it is highly drinkable and thirst quenching but also has a subtle depth of flavour added through the use of continental hops. Obviously Selfridges have picked up on this.

“There are few better ‘shop windows’ we could be feature in than Selfridges and we hope this is a continuation of our journey towards even greater things. At the same time it is nice to be banging the drum for Cumbrian produce and helping spread the message about just how great we are at making top class food and drink in this county.”

To find out more about Eden Brewery go

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