Otter Brewery Highly Commended at National Business Awards
Described as “the Oscars of great British business” by the Prime Minister, this year’s prestigious award ceremony took place in front of 1,200 people on Tuesday 15th November at the Grosvenor House, Park Lane.
Brewery founders David and Mary Ann McCaig were joined on the night by eldest son Patrick and his wife Tor. The great news comes as the business finishes celebrating its first quarter century as a family owned regional brewery supplying pubs, sports clubs and venues across the South West and beyond.
The finalists were chosen from the hundreds of businesses that entered across 18 award categories with live presentations to an expert judging panel being used to decide the overall winners.
The criteria for this category specifically looked for initiatives that have embedded ethical or sustainable business practices, helped staff deliver better customer service, increased market share or customer loyalty and supported strong leadership and management. These will also have created competitive advantage, contributed to significant growth, transformed the organisation or wider industry, improved overall financial performance and achieved operational excellence.
Otter finished second in their category of 10 shortlisted businesses and received one of only three ‘Highly Commended’ accolades given by judges across the 18 categories.
Since its creation 25 years ago a strong environmental emphasis has helped Otter Brewery define all aspects of its business model. A series of willow beds are used to naturally treat waste water whilst almost everything else is recycled including spent brewers grains that help to feed local dairy herds. The 18-acre site in the Blackdown Hills sits in the middle of both an SSSI and AONB and is home to the UK’s first eco cellar which saves over 6½ tonnes of CO2 emissions per year (and more than £27,000 worth of electricity) by using the earth’s natural core temperature to chill over 5,000 casks. Sustainability at Otter also extends to the wider relationships that it has fostered within the community. Assisting local grass roots rugby, cricket, football and rowing clubs has enabled more individuals to get involved with these sports. Extensive charity work directly benefits Devon Air Ambulance, Hospiscare, the Royal British Legion’s Poopy Appeal and the Exeter Foundation amongst others. Patrick McCaig, Director at Otter Brewery, said: “I’m so proud of all our boys and girls who make Otter what it is. To be up against the rest of the country and get such recognition for our approach to sustainability is a real coup – we only just missed out on the top spot by a whisker. From very humble beginnings that really came about through Mum and Dad’s pioneering vision, the brewery today remains true to those engrained family values, strong eco credentials and a desire to support the local community. Everything we do comes from the heart and that is one of the biggest ingredients to successfully maintaining Otter Brewery for now and the future.”
About the National Business Awards:
Open to organisations of all sizes from all sectors across the UK, the National Business Awards is the UK’s most prestigious independent business recognition platform with its particular emphasis on excellence, innovation and ethical business. Now in its 15th year, the National Business Awards connects the nations’ professionals through its annual awards ceremony; year-round thought leadership and round table events. www.nationalbusinessawards.co.uk
About Otter Brewery: The business was established in 1990 and now employs 35 people. The core range includes Otter Ale, Otter Bitter, Otter Amber, Otter Bright, Otter Head, Wildsider and Tarka Lager – Devon’s first pure lager. Each beer contains just four natural ingredients including water tapped from the head springs of the River Otter. The malted barley comes from Tuckers Maltings in Newton Abbot – one of the last four remaining traditional malting houses in the country.
The brewery sponsors the Sidmouth, Honiton, Torquay and Exmouth Rugby Clubs, Exeter City Football Club, Upottery Football Club, Exeter Racecourse, Devon County Cricket, the Sidmouth Cricket Club, the Royal Dart Yacht Club, Dartmouth Regatta and Lyme Regis Gig Club.
Corporate relationships include the Exeter Chiefs and supplying all the infrastructure and logistical support to Reading Festival, Beautiful Days, Bestival, Download and the Cambridge Folk Festival.
The brewery freely gives of its time and expertise to assist numerous local community initiatives including the Ottery St Mary Food & Families Festival, Exeter Festival of Food & Drink, the Honiton Show, Ottery St Mary’s Flaming Tar Barrels event, the 10k Otter River Run and Escot’s RockSolid Race.