Brewery boom drives investment and growth for Leeds engineering firm

R-L: Brewology chairman and founding director David Midgley and managing director David Grant.

  • Holbeck-based company invest in new CNC machine and conveyors to boost productivity
  • Company feature in LEP’s #LetsTalkRealBusiness campaign
  • Capacity will increase by 30% and 2 new members of staff have been employed
  • LEP grant of £17,763 awarded

Brewology, the Leeds-based manufacturer of cask filling and cleaning systems for the brewing industry, is investing in new machining and production capacity to take advantage of the continuing boom in UK craft breweries.

The company has invested £89,000 in the purchase of a new CNC machine and conveyors to speed up production and increase output with help from the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP), which has provided a grant of £17,763 towards the new equipment.

Further growth is now being targeted, following on from a year which saw turnover doubled from £664,000 in the year to July 2015 to £1.35 million in July 2016. Growth is being driven by small craft breweries as well as large drinks manufacturers such as Sharps, Heineken and Fullers.

The new machinery will increase production capacity by 30% and is expected to create up to four new jobs at the company, which currently employs 15 full-time staff. Together with incoming orders, the investment is expect to see the business double its turnover again.

David Grant, the company’s Managing Director said: “The UK and the United States are in the middle of an explosion in craft brewing. In the UK alone there are 2,000 brewers, with new brands and breweries entering the market every week.

“The new machine is now fully operational. We’ve already employed two new members of staff – a skilled machine operator and a fabricator – and this has allowed us to significantly reduce our machining times, which will be reduced even further when the new conveyors are installed. We’ve had straightforward support from the LEP which we’ve appreciated, and we’re continuing to work with our Growth manager Melanie Parker. That’s why we agreed to be in a video about the LEP’s #LetsTalkRealBusiness campaign.”

Brewology specialises in the design, manufacture and installation of cask filling and cleaning equipment, together with the highly sophisticated computer programmes used to operate them.

As well as keeping pace with rising demand, the additional capacity will enable the company to deliver a number of large turnkey projects.

Roger Marsh OBE, Chair of the LEP said: “Our #LetsTalkRealBusiness campaign is all about getting to the heart of what matters to business owners. As David says, when you see export opportunity and want to grow and employ staff, investing in new equipment can make a significant difference in scaling up.

“The LEP can help in a practical, no-nonsense way and I encourage other SME owners to get in touch and talk about their real business needs.”

Cllr Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council and Chair of the LEP Investment Panel said: “Leeds has a proud and successful history as a centre for the brewing industry and this continues today with the growth of small and medium size craft brewers such as North Brew, Northern Monk and Leeds Brewery.

“Many of these have received grant support though the LEP business Growth Programme and it’s fantastic that we can support investment to create new jobs within the wider supply chain for an industry that’s booming.”