We are moving to a brand new brewery in Easton. It's taken several tortuous years of finance-raising and planning (never mind drain digging and concrete laying) but the move has long been the aim of founder, Glen Dawkins.
"Our existing brewery is on a small farm estate in Timsbury, Somerset; we'll miss it there. Originally set up by Stuart Matthews and Sue Appleton in 2005 as a five barrel plant, one of our pubs, The Hillgrove, was an early customer. As time went on, the quality of Stuart's ales was such that all our pubs were taking it and we soon became his biggest customer. When he decided to leave brewing to devote more time to his family we were the natural purchaser.
Over the years we've added to and reconfigured the brewery so it is now effectively 7-8 barrels in size; but even so there isn't much left after supplying the five Dawkins pubs. The new custom-built brewery will be three times the capacity and be better geographically to serve our Bristol heartland.
We already have one area, King Street dubbed 'The Beermuda Triangle'. With the great Towles and Arbor breweries as near-neighbours we've established another!"
Dawkins & Georges Ltd
Recruitment of major new investors means that the brewery is a separate business to the Dawkins pubs, but there is a long term supply agreement which means the pubs will continue as before, selling Dawkins beers alongside ever-changing guests. The brewery will continue to trade as Dawkins Ales, but with a nod to Bristol's rich brewing heritage the new company name is 'Dawkins & Georges Ltd" (Georges being the original brewery at Bristol Bridge before being bought by Courage in 1961).
Fancy your own brewery?
It is hoped the existing brewery in Somerset will be sold as a going concern once the new Easton site is fully up and running this summer.
It is a cracking bit of kit and perfect for a startup. Plus we'd love to sell the new owner's beers in our pubs; going full circle to the Matthews days!
It took us several months to find the site we wanted and there have been all manner of delays (of course!) There being no record of exactly what planning class the site was (it was documented ok when built in 1968!). Thankfully, our brilliant landlord Richard Parsons steered us through the planning and gained consent.
Custom brewing kit was ordered via the redoubtable Dave Porter in Bury, Winter 2014 with a view to March installation. However, at a late stage it emerged that there was not enough power onsite and an upgrade would have cost a large five-figure number, as the power lines cross the nearby railway line! A late switch to a gas-fired copper proved expensive but will be more environmentally friendly and cheaper to run long-term. The vessels finally arrived late May and initial installation soon after. After much hassle we expect to be fully moved over to the nedw brewery by the end of 2017.
Our Quality Policy
We’re proud to be an early member of the SIBA Assured British Craft Brewer Initiative. More here