The West Berkshire Brewery (WBB) has signed off on a new £3m brewery and its first ‘urban’ pub, following the extension of its £1.5m crowdfunding drive.
The brewery, which has been steered by veteran pub and brewing entrepreneur David Bruce since he joined the board as chairman in 2013, plans to increase its brewing capacity ten-fold at its new £3m custom-built facility.
The new brewery will be situated in a former dairy just a few hundred yards from the current site in the village of Yattendon, Berkshire. Heads of terms have been agreed with current landlords, Yattendon Estates. WBB says that subject to planning, building works will begin soon.
Meanwhile, the brewery’s confirmed it's acquired its first pub: Shillibeer’s in Islington, London. The 4,450sq ft pub is intended to be a showcase for WBB’s traditional cask ales which include flagship brand Good Old Boy, alongside its new craft beer range, brewed under the Renegade Brewery brand.
The deals have been signed during the company’s crowdfunding campaign, via both the Asset Match and Seedrs platforms, which aims to raise £1.5m to help to fund the new initiatives. So far the company has raised over £1.37m via the process which closes on 14 June. The crowdfunding initiative draws an end to a wider fundraising project to raise £4m.
Bruce said: 'This is a real turning point for us at West Berkshire Brewery. We are thrilled to have secured such a fantastic site in one of London’s most exciting areas. For the first time we can proudly serve our beers directly to customers.
'Our pub will be full of atmosphere and showcase a stunning range of beers and ciders from all over the world, including those we make ourselves. It will really put our brewery on the map.
'We’re just as excited to have signed an agreement for our new brewery. We have a fabulous brewing team who are full of ideas and our new equipment will enable them to let their creativity loose. It also means that we can significantly increase our production, allowing us to spread our wings further than our current distribution heartland; it’s truly an exciting time.'
The new brewery and packaging line is expected to be operational from early 2017.