Somerset Artisan Brewery Reaches First Birthday

Somerset Brewery the Wild Beer Co has much to celebrate as it reaches its first birthday and is awarded a Rural Enterprise Grant by the HOTSW REG Program, which will allow it to invest in essential new equipment needed to grow the business to it’s next stage.

The Wild Beer Co, based in Westcombe, in the heart of rural Somerset, met the criteria set out by The European Union’s rural development policy which aims to achieve valuable goals for our countryside economy and for the people who live and work there.

Andrew Cooper, Co-founder of the brewery says,

“It’s a simple equation. As the brewery grows so does our capacity to increase employment opportunities in the area. We’ll be using this money to buy a new bottling line which will allow us to go from 2,000 bottles a day to 1,500 an hour. This will help us develop the business and thereby contribute to the local area being an active and vibrant place to live and work.”
Andrew Cooper, Co-founder of the Wild Beer Co

As the business brews more and different beers, so their sales have been growing domestically and overseas. As the business approaches it’s first birthday, it can celebrate, not just the successful grant application but also the fact that it is already exporting to eight countries outside the UK, with more international targets in the pipeline.

Wild Beer Co has also just picked up the title as Somerset Drinks Product of the Year at the Somerset Life Food & Drink Awards, beating long established cider maker Thatcher’s and Bradley’s Apple Juice in the final. An amazing achievement after so little time in business. At the finals luncheon guests enjoyed the brewery’s Cool As A Cucumber a 2.9% cucumber and mint beer.

The brewery was founded by Cooper and Brett Ellis, who both previously worked together and were looking to use more unusual elements in beer production.

Brett Ellis, Head Brewer says, “The last 11 months have been a total whirlwind and we’ve more than doubled our capacity. By the end of the year we will have virtually doubled it again.  Growth has been so quick and there are so many opportunities for us at the moment.”

Andrew adds,

“We had an idea for a beer and realised we’d never be able to do it at another brewery. Our ethos was a fairly unique idea for beer in this country and because we knew the market, were involved in the industry and knew what was out there, we felt confident pursuing our own unique brewing path. I have just come back from the Stockholm Beer & Whisky Festival, where it was great to see our beers being enjoyed alongside those from some of the finest breweries on the planet.

“There are about 1,200 breweries in the UK at the moment and new ones are opening up all the time. In that market, you need to know the industry well and have a clear idea of your point of difference, in order to succeed.”

“Our business plan was to always look beyond the domestic market and focus a lot of export. We currently sell to the US, Australia, Sweden, Spain and Ireland. China, Mexico and other markets are also on the horizon.”

Andrew Cooper, Co-founder of the Wild Beer Co

The Wild Beer Co have much to celebrate on their first birthday and will be beginning the festivities with a 12 course Beer Dinner at Flinty Red in Bristol. They are then heading to the Independent Manchester Beer Convention later in the week, where they will have a bar of some of their rarest barrel-aged beers.