Adur Brewery: future development

John Simpson at Adur Brewery has passed this on to us; please contact him at the address below if you’re interested.

Ever dreamed of owning, or working in, a Brewery?

Most real ale fans will have had such thoughts at one time or another, but probably dismissed it as an impossible dream. Now there is a way in which you may be able to realise it, in a more convenient and less costly way than you might ever have imagined.

Read on for full details, then email us if interested. Jeannette and I recently attended a meeting to discuss options for the future development of the Adur Brewery. It was reported that with the massive increases in duty over recent years the brewery’s present reason for existence seems to be solely to pay taxes, and did not provide enough scope to employ additional assistance. All present wanted to see a situation where the brewery could start to offer new jobs, but to do that, it would need to grow and the meeting discussed various ways to achieve the desired growth. The favoured scenario involved a gradual stepping up of production, a move to larger premises, followed by the installation of new equipment with greater brewing capacity to achieve economies of scale, and the employment of a trainee brewer and an administrative manager.

One way of financing these plans would be to reconstitute the brewery as a form of co-operative, which would allow a greater number of people the opportunity to purchase shares for relatively small amounts (probably in the order of £250 for ‘consumer members’, though there may be scope for a category of ‘gold membership’ for anyone who wants to invest more capital or contribute in the form of work – ‘worker members’). It was agreed that the first step would be to assess the likely amount of interest in the local beer enthusiasts community for participating in such a scheme. We agreed to publicise the concept and collate replies on behalf of the brewery.

The advantages to anyone holding a share would be:

  • You would have VIP access to the brewery – at present group visits are not practical but co-owners would have the facility to visit and even gain some ‘hands on’ experience if they wished.
  • You would participate in the formation of policy through the annual meeting.
  • Your views would be sought on proposals for new beers, the recipes and names for them, and you would be among the first to taste them.
  • You would be able to buy the brewery’s beers at discounted prices.
  • You would receive priority invitations to brewery events.
  • You would be showing your support for the concept of a local brewery for your area, in line with CAMRA’s LocAle scheme, which tries to ensure that beers are not transported over great distances.

A personal perspective:

In the past Jeannette and I have paid £400 for a single weekend course where we could gain some brewing experience, but we obtained substantially greater value from our investment in the Adur Brewery. We have had a small stake in the brewery since it started. We were not looking for returns in the way of dividends, but rather expressing support for a new local enterprise and a concept we believe in. Since then we have reaped enormous, though intangible, rewards in the amount of fun, interest and experience we have gained through being involved with the brewery.

The pleasure of tasting a new beer, sampled straight from the foaming fermentation vessel, knowing that you have had input into its recipe; helping carry out buckets of spent hops and malt as the mash tun is emptied, with the wonderful aromas all around you; playing an active part in brewery events, such as the two Church Ales and the First Birthday events, when we met famous beer writer, Pete Brown; the satisfaction of seeing stacks of bottles carrying names and labels in which you have helped design. How can you put a price on experiences like that?

Personnel wanted:

If you are looking for a change of career and would like to consider working as a trainee brewer or brewery administrator, please get in touch. The pay would not be great, some days might involve long hours, and the work can be tiring, but the potential satisfaction is enormous! Please also get in touch if you are between jobs and would want to do some voluntary work at the brewery to fill the gap on your CV, to learn new skills – or just for the fun of it. One person who did just that, and spent several months at the brewery, has told us that of all his distinguished work career, that is the part of his CV which attracts most interest. He has also found that it gives him a great deal of ‘street cred’ – at parties everyone wants to talk to the person who is an authority on how a brewery works!

The small print:

You are doubtless aware that investment in any small business is a risk and should not be regarded as a safe haven for your pension fund! There are no gilt-edged guarantees of dividends, and. if you are interested in the jobs, you should understand that employment in this sector is far from being a life-time job with a pension scheme. An investment of this nature is all about the fun of being involved. and supporting a cause you believe in.

Email if interested:

At present the brewery is only seeking to find out if this particular scenario is viable, so we need to gauge how many people might be interested in participating in such a scheme. Please email John Simpson if you think you would like to join in this venture. Expressing interest at this stage will not commit you. If development plans go forward in this form you would receive firm proposals and only then would you need to make a binding commitment.

Date posted: Saturday, February 19th, 2011 10:03 | Under category: Breweries, News
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