York remains at the heart of city brewers’ success story

A passion for York and the soaring popularity of the craft beer scene have brewed up a recipe for success for York-based international brewery, Brew York. A £1.5 million investment success has allowed them to secure an additional brewery site on the outskirts of the city, which will create 16 new jobs, from junior apprentice brewers right up to senior management positions.

Following a challenging few months of trading, the ambitious plans at the new brewery site in Osbaldwick will focus on the production of their canned beers, following a significant investment in early 2020 on a new canning line.  Included in the move are investments in 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.  This will greatly 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 Limited, 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 £200k Grant support without which the expansion could not have gone ahead.”

The new 13,000 sqft 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.  The production of cask and keg beers will continue at Walmgate, alongside the operation of the very popular Beer Hall, Tap Room and shop, which has become a firm fixture on the York bar and pub scene.  The Market Tap in Pocklington also remains a key part of the business.

Brew York was born out of two friends passion for beer and brewing. Creating Brew York was the realisation of a long lived dream to build a brewery in the centre of York where the experience and location is as enjoyable as the beer itself.

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.”

Cllr 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. I’d like to wish everyone at Brew York the best of luck and I look forward to seeing them go from strength to strength.”

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

Image (left to right): Wayne Smith, Director at Brew York, Lee Grabham, Head Brewer at Brew York, Phil Dibbs, MD at Hawkmoor Associates.


For more information please contact: 

Ana Ignatova, Communications Executive, Make It York
Email: ana.ignatova@makeityork.com   

For more information about Brew York, please contact info@brewyork.co.uk

Notes to editor  

Make It York  

Make It York’s purpose is to develop and promote the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally – as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business. The company’s remit covers leisure and business tourism, city centre management, festivals and events, business support and inward investment. 

One of Make It York’s strategic aims is to promote York as a brilliant place to do business, helping to support business growth and innovation across a range of business sectors, such as financial & professional services, rail and high value manufacturing and to stimulate greater inward investment. 

Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) 

The Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership works with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority to help businesses in our region grow and become more productive. 

The Combined Authority works in partnership with local councils and businesses to ensure that everyone in our region benefits from a strong, successful economy and a modern, accessible transport network. By championing the region’s interests nationally and internationally, we secure the investment to deliver better transport and housing, help businesses to grow and create jobs.   

We want our region to be recognised globally as a strong, successful economy where everyone can build great businesses, careers and lives. For more information visit www.westyorks-ca.gov.uk  

Hawkmoor Associates Limited

Hawkmoor Associates is a company which supports and advises small business on growth strategy and finance. Hawkmoor works with a number of businesses across the region in various capacities.

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