Hampshire Brewery To Provide Employment for 500 People
Brewery bucks trend of decline in the South which sees many pubs close each week
20- 30 pubs and hotels to be opened by end of 2015
350% growth over last 12 months
Plans to increase production to 400 casks per week over the next 2 years
Upham brewery, based in Hampshire, which is already one of the fastest growing breweries in the South of England, has today opened the new plant, which has been increased in size with capacity to brew 8 times more beer than before and announced ambitious expansions plans which will see the company open between 20 – 30 new pubs and Inns by the end of 2015 and provide employment for 400 – 500 people.
With an average of 52 pubs being forced to close each month across the country – seven per week – and with 24,000 people losing their jobs each year, the beer and pub industry facing a crisis which is why today’s announcement by Upham, which is strongly bucking the national trend, is finally a bit of good news for the region.
Upham, which brewed its first pint in 2009, but only started producing in earnest in April 2012 has enjoyed remarkable growth over the last year. The brewery has increased its number of stockists by 350% in the past 12 months and is now sold in over 200 outlets across Hampshire, Sussex, Wiltshire, Dorset and Berkshire, including Majestic, Bookers and The Co-op.
Based at Stakes Farm in the heart of the South Downs, Upham produces a range of three beers which are overseen by Master Brewer Derek Lowe, who has used his 40 years experience in the industry including 25 years as Head Brewer at Gales in Horndean, to produce beers of outstanding quality and consistency.
The range of beers, which are all named after a racing theme following the heritage of the farm on which they are brewed, includes The Punter, a 4% ABV malty ale; The Tipster, a refreshing golden ale with a 3.6% ABV; and The Stakes, a Premium bitter which provides a kick with a 4.8% ABV (please see below for full tasting notes on the range).
Upham currently owns three pubs and Inns in Hampshire and Berkshire and a key component of its growth will be adding a further 16 sites to its portfolio by the end of 2015. The brewery is currently producing 1,000 casks per year but predicts that over the next 2 to 3 years production will be up to 5,000 casks. The brand’s immediate objective is to become the regional champion and perhaps a national beer of the future.
Chris Phillips, CEO Upham Ale Company Ltd and Upham Pub Company Ltd commented: “The beer industry in the UK is facing a serious challenge with seven pubs closing every week and beers sales in decline, however we are confident that we can buck that trend as people continue to support home grown and crafted beer. Our aim is establish Upham as one of the most popular ranges of beers in the South of England supported with a thriving range of pubs, which provide customers with fantastic locally sourced food and superb country accommodation.
“Our growth to date has been completely organic and founded on the outstanding quality, taste and consistency of our beers, which will remain the cornerstone of the brand as we look to expand over the coming years. With the average pub contributing £80,000 to the local community we hope that we can provide a boost to the local economy and employment in the South of England in these austere times.”