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23rd October 2023

£250k New Brewing Equipment Officially Opened By John Spellar MP

Award-winning Davenports Brewery, which was established in 1829, has invested £250,000 in new brewing equipment and digitisation at its head office in Birmingham which will increase production and consistency, and help with energy costs whilst positively impacting the companies carbon footprint. The installation of the new equipment and digitisation took twelve weeks and required remedial work to the floor and surrounding area.

In today’s climate where all companies are trying to find ways to save energy and reduce their carbon footprint, understanding where and how we can make a difference is critical. Brewing beer uses lots of energy and water – both of which have an impact. “In a bid to save money and meet sustainability standards, the new brewing equipment is also fully digitised which allows us to collect and monitor data to understand and work on energy consumption and savings.” Paran Sandhu, Head Brewer continued, “We were running at capacity with our old equipment, which did not fully satisfy the demand of our own pubs and Beer at Home customers, let alone enquiries and orders from customers of the brewery. The new equipment will help with quality and consistency and increases our volume capability which all work towards satisfying demand and growth.”

Whilst the installation process was underway, Davenports’ pubs sold-out of its own-label ales and had to ‘manage customers’ expectations’ as Cen Hayward Sales Director explains, “We’re organising great promotional activity in our pubs to highlight to our valued customers that our ales are back and ready to be enjoyed, the pub staff are all very relieved indeed!”

Whilst visiting the new facility, John Spellar MP kindly declared the new equipment launched and ready for brewing, unveiling a plaque in honour of the occasion. He said, “Davenports’ ale had a guest spot in the prestigious ‘Strangers’ Bar’ at the House of Commons, and within days it sold out. It was incredibly popular and is a fine example of the brands appeal across the country.”

In addition to brewing award-winning ales, Davenports Brewery owns a very successful chain of award-winning pubs, with several ‘Best Pub’ and ‘Foodie’ awards to boast of, as well as The Coach House in Stratford being listed in the final three of the ‘West Midlands Combined Authority Tourism Awards 2024’, Best Bar category which will be announced later this year. The company has also added several new venues to their portfolio already this year, with more to be announced. Marketing Director Katie McPhilimey added; “Davenports are adding great venues to the portfolio on a regular basis having started the year with The Littleton Arms, an award-winning venue in Penkridge which sits within our Boutique Collection whilst the ‘Pub & Kitchens’ division has also made some strong acquisitions. It is exciting times for a brand that boasts an incredible history and heritage, but with so many recent wins across ales and venues, it is clear that this is a brand that is very, very relevant for today.”


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Davenports Brewery Interesting Facts 

Davenports was established in 1829.

1902: A new branch of the business started – manufacturing, bottling, and delivering Davenports non-deposit ale and stout.

1904: Davenports C.B Ltd, registered to supply ‘pure bottled ale and stout at the cheapest possible price’. Quickly reaching delivery to 15,000 homes.

Famous Legal Battle: In 1905 Davenports was accused of ‘Beer Hawking’, selling beer by retail at a place where they were not authorised (beer at home), It was viewed as a hugely important prosecution, fought brilliantly, and won by the very theatrical barrister, Mr Marshall-Hall K.C, on behalf of Davenports in the Victoria Law Courts. Marshall-Hall was later knighted. Davenports had paved the way for other brewers to follow a similar scheme.

The Co-operative beer bottle…A Double Inducement:  Within a month of the dismissal of the beer hawking accusation, C.B Ltd launched its prospectus to potential shareholders in the company, which already had proven ‘progressive, substantial, and satisfactory’. Half of the shares were Ordinary and were divided equally between the three directors and John Davenport and Sons brewery, and half were advertised as customers’ shares. Those who bought them had to commit to buying ten shillings’ worth of bottled ale (CB) or Stour (CS) over a six-month period; if they didn’t do this, they had to sell their shares at the paid-up value. Holders of these shares were entitled to a 5% cumulative preference dividend and half of the surplus profits of the company in proportion to what they had spent in the year after 5% had been paid to the Ordinary shareholders. The FT wryly dubbed the scheme ‘A Co-operative Beer Bottle’, more seriously and optimistically, Davenports advertised it as ‘devised to give EVERY shareholder a double inducement to further the interests of the Company’.

Early pioneers in advertising. By 1910, it was obvious that much thought was put into making advertisements lively, pertinent, and appealing. With Davenports seen in national press.

1922 Motorised lorries expanded delivery capability.

Technology: in 1930, The Birmingham Daily Gazette stressed that few of Davenports’ rivals could claim to be as modern in equipment as Davenports which boasted ‘The very latest appliances that science and mechanics have evolved’. In total, three batteries of machines with ten machines in each turned out 120,000 bottles of beer every day!

Continued Investment: More investment in the bottling plant meant that a few years later, Davenports were capable of 24,000 bottles per hour!

Pioneers of Recycling: In the 1930’s, Davenports championed recycling bottles that were returned by customers. Scrupulously cleaned and chilled for reuse in two automatic bottle washing machines at the rate of 12,000 per hour.

1937: More than 250,000 regular customers.

Famous Slogan: In 1939, the ‘Beer at Home Means Davenports’ slogan was first introduced.

That Jingle: Davenports gained much publicity from an advert that featured marketing director Carl Daniels and a catchy ditty:

Beer at Home means Davenports,

That’s the beer, lots of cheer.

The finest hops with malt and yeast

Turns a snack into a feast.

Straight from brewery to your home,

Why collect, we’ll deliver.

Soon you’ll know why folks all say,

Beer at Home means Davenports.

Costing little to make, it was credited with boosting sales to such an extent that in 1973 Davenports’ profits reached just under £1million compared to £86,000 in 1961.

2021: Despite the terrible impact of the pandemic on the industry, Davenports managed to acquire new pubs and venues, refurbish existing pubs whilst also launching ‘Beer at Home’.

Making A Difference:

Reducing box size and lessening void fills all adds to reducing lorries on roads each year.

2022: The Queens Head opened its doors on Steelhouse Lane Birmingham

2022: The Coach House wins Best Pub or Bar in Coventry & Warwickshire 2022 at the Foodie Awards.

2022: The Coach House wins Best Pub, Bar or Restaurant at The Stratford Herald Business & Tourism Awards.

2022: Davenports returns the brand to Kidderminster with the opening of The Post House, formerly the site of The Red Man pub.

2023: January, Davenports add the award-winning Littleton Arms in Penkridge to their portfolio.

2023: February, Davenports launches Drum Bitter, 3.6% ABV.

2023: Davenports announces work on a new sports bar, The Met.

2023: CB Original wins another Gold Medal

2023 June: The Met opens its doors.

2023 September: The Coach House is one of only three finalists in the ‘Best Bar’ category of the West Midlands Combined Authority Tourism Awards 2024. Winner to be announced later this year.

2023 October: New brewery equipment that is fully digitised officially opened by John Spellar MP.

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