The brewery, based just outside Guildford, Surrey, installed three new fermenting and maturation vessels on Saturday (October 1) in the first part of its expansion plan. One of these vessels could hold 80 barrels-worth of beer, while the other two held 120 barrels.
The brewery – known for its ‘Hogs Back’ ales and ‘Hogstar’ lager – also planned to build three new hop stores, a racking building and install four more 120-barrel fermentation vessels. A new boiler and refrigeration system was also planned as part of the investment.
New warehouse onsite
The expansion included plans for a new warehouse onsite. The proposed warehouse, aimed at being operational by spring 2017, would allow its current warehouse – “an old barn” – to be used as a visitors’ centre.
Hogs Back Brewery owner Rupert Thompson told FoodManufacture.co.uk: “The investment is going to increase production capacity by about 30%.
“It’s a programme that will continue throughout all of next year. This £400,000 investment will take us through to at least the autumn of next year, so it’s kind of a rolling process. And it all depends on planning permission because we’re on the edge of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty so we’ve got to be careful, and one of our buildings is a listed building.
Planning permission before Christmas
The brewery hoped to gain planning permission before Christmas this year, so it can begin building immediately afterwards, Thompson said.
He also said a second investment package could come their way after this £400,000 packet was used up. Thompson said the brewery wants to use the next investment to increase the capacity of its Brewhouse – an extension that would increase the company production by a further 30%.
Meanwhile, Hogs Back Brewery appeared on BBC’s Countryfile on Sunday (October 2). Presenter Anita Rani visited the site to sample the brewery’s new ale, Green Tea.
Hogs Back Brewery £400,000 investment – at a glance
- Three new fermenting and maturation vessels
- New boiler, and refrigeration system
- Three new hop stores
- Racking building
- Sterile filtration equipment