Twelve new fermenting vessels have now been lifted into place as work constructing the south west’s most sophisticated and technologically advanced brewery edges closer to completion. With final pipework and electrical installation underway, the new plant is now close to commission with a ‘first-brew’ date set for March 14th.
The exciting investment project, which is on track to open in May 2018, is set to double the available brewing capacity at Bath Ales.
Newly named Hare Brewery is being built at Bath Ales’ existing headquarters in Warmley, between Bath and Bristol. Fronted by flagship ale Gem, the four-vessel brew house will have the capacity to produce more than 50,000 brewers’ barrels of beer – more than 14.5 million pints.
As well as Bath Ales’ much-loved existing range of beers, for the first time, the west country brewer will also be able to create a lager. An exciting schedule of new beers will also launch alongside the brewery opening, including an IPA.
Darren James, senior brewer, who has been with the Bath Ales for almost 15 years, says he’s looking forward to unveiling Hare Brewery.
“As we edge ever closer to completion, the brewing team can’t wait to start using the new kit. 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. It’ll be brewed to exacting technical standards and we hope it’ll be an anticipated new addition to the English premium lager category.”
Darren added: “We’ve used the opening of the brewery to make sure our core range is as good as it possibly can be. Along with the lager, we’ll also be launching a west coast IPA into the permanent Bath Ales range.”
We're happy to announced the ambitious multi-million pound plans for Bath Ales after the acquisition in July 2016. As an independent company, which is still family-owned, we're committed to a long-term investment growth plan for the Bath Ales brand and business.
Alongside the major brewery build, Roger Ryman our Brewing Director, who oversees brewing and production at Bath Ales has used the project as an opportunity to grow and strengthen the core brewing and beer quality team.
Long-serving Bath Ales brewer Gerry Condell, who's been working with the company for more than 15 years, has been appointed as trade quality brewer. The newly created role will see Condell visit and support customers across Bristol, Bath and the surrounding areas to help ensure that Bath Ales beers are served in the best possible condition.
Mick Stawniczy has also been appointed as Bath Ales site operations manager and will head up production at the new brewery. Mick has transferred from St Austell, and brings with him more than 19 years’ beer industry experience.
Commenting on the new appointments at Bath Ales, and the progress of the new brewery, Roger said: “From the offset, the team had a very clear vision for the new brewery, and it’s really exciting to see it start to take shape as all the major equipment gets fixed into place. Whilst it’s full steam ahead for the project, the transition when the new brewery opens will be very much business as usual for our customers.”
“We have a highly skilled brewing team in place at Bath Ales. Our people, coupled with the very best technical equipment and support, along with only choosing the best ingredients for our beers, means we’ve got all the tools we need to take Bath Ales into its exciting next chapter.”
He added: “We hope opening of the project will put a shining light on the brewery industry in the south west and beyond, and we can’t wait to open the doors to our loyal customers.”
Leading British company Musk Engineering Ltd is tasked with the fitting and installation of the new brewery. In addition to the creation of the new brew house, a new bottling line is also being installed.
The brewery shop is open whilst work is under way. Once the brewery reopens in mid-May, a new taproom and schedule of brewery tours will take place.
For more information about Bath Ales, visit www.bathales.com.
Photo: From L-R: Head Brewer Darren James, Vicky Guy, Sarah Mann, Rowena Garland and St Austell Brewery’s Brewing Director Roger Ryman celebrate the latest Gem of a milestone.