Jobs boost as brewery expands its operations

A £1.5m investment means York-based brewery, Brew York, has secured an additional site which will create 16 jobs from junior apprentice brewers up to senior management positions.

Following a difficult few months of trading, the ambitious plans at the new brewery site in Osbaldwick will focus on the production of the company’s canned beers, following the launch in early 2020 of a new canning line.

Included in the move is spending on kit and technology to improve efficiency, quality and consistency.

This includes a sizeable cold store, a grain silo and mill, as well as a reverse osmosis machine, which strips all mineral content from the water to create a ‘blank canvas’ for brewing.

It will improve general quality and enable the production of new styles of beer such as Pilsner, which would not otherwise be possible using York’s main water supply.

The expansion has been funded through the reinvestment of profits, loans and grant-funding which included £200,000 from Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

Brew York were supported in the finance and grant fund raising by Phil Dibbs of Hawkmoor Associates, Dave Catling of Customer Business Finance, and SME Growth Manager, Simon Middleton.

Head brewer, Lee Grabham, said: “Despite the challenging times Brew York are proud to be expanding in their home city of York and bringing new employment to the area.

“With our expansion we hope to build on our reputation for innovative and exceptional beers by creating a brewing legacy that the City of York can be proud of.

“The directors are especially grateful to Make It York, City of York Council, and the LEP for their £200,000 grant support without which the expansion could not have gone ahead.”

The new 13,000 sq ft unit will house the main brewery, immediately increasing production capacity from 880,000 pints a year at the current Walmgate site to close to 4 million pints a year, with scope to double that again should demand increase further.

Production of cask and keg beers will continue at Walmgate, alongside the operation of the Beer Hall, Tap Room and shop, which has become a fixture on the York bar and pub scene.

The Market Tap in Pocklington also remains a key part of the business.

Sean Bullick, managing director at Make It York, said: “Supporting the city’s jobs and businesses is our number one priority and it is really positive to see Brew York expanding, as well as retaining investment and talent within the city, during these challenging times.

“In this instance, having access to the right business support and advice on the best grant opportunities for their business, has allowed Brew York to make their ambitious plans a reality.

“We’re looking forward to seeing this project develop and wish them the best of luck.”

Councillor Andrew Waller, executive member for the economy and strategic planning at City of York Council, said: “It’s great to see a real success story coming out of the city, especially during these challenging times.

“It’s inspiring to see that with some hard work and support from the city that Brew York are not only expanding but providing opportunities for York residents, with job opportunities from apprenticeships to senior management positions.”

Work has already begun on the expansion, with full operations expected to start at the new site at Handley Park from December at the latest.