The plant is now close to commission with a ‘first-brew’ date set for March 14. The investment project is on track to open in May 2018 and is set to double the available capacity.
The brewery, which was recently renamed Hare Brewery, is being built at Bath Ales’ existing headquarters in Warmley, between Bath and Bristol.
The four-vessel brew house will have the capacity to produce more than 50,000 brewers’ barrels of beer – more than 14.5M pints a year.
For the first time, the brewer will also be able to create a lager and will also be launching a west coast IPA into the permanent Bath Ales range.
In addition to the creation of the new brew house, a new bottling line is also being installed. Once the brewery reopens in mid-May, a new taproom and schedule of brewery tours is set to take place.
“As we edge ever closer to completion, the brewing team can’t wait to start using the new kit,” said senior brewer Darren James. “The brew house’s versatility means we can experiment with even more beer styles alongside what Bath Ales drinkers already know and love.”
“Thanks to the installation of a lauter tun, for the first time we’ll have the equipment, and capacity, to brew an English lager.”
St Austell Brewery announced its multi-million investment for Bath Ales shortly after the acquisition in July 2016.
Roger Ryman, who oversees brewing and production at Bath Ales and St Austell Brewery, has used the project as an opportunity to grow and strengthen the core brewing and beer quality team.
Bath Ales brewer Gerry Condell, who has been working with the company for more than 15 years, has been appointed as trade quality brewer. Mick Stawniczy has transferred over from St Austell and been appointed as Bath Ales site operations manager and will head up production at the new brewery.