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30th December 2013

DAVID BRUCE LEADS NEW ERA FOR AWARD-WINNING BREWERY – Founders and chairman to open up ownership with New Year share sale

Serial international brewing and pub entrepreneur, David Bruce, is once more on the brewing trail with his latest venture – an independent and award-winning brewery that makes an array of craft-brewed beers including “Good Old Boy” and “Dr Hexter’s Healer”.
Bruce, who has launched multiple breweries – in the UK, Europe and North America – has teamed up with the founders of The West Berkshire Brewery (WBB) to offer beer lovers and local residents a chance to buy a stake in the company.
The entrepreneur, who famously developed both the Firkin and the Slug & Lettuce pub chains and was a co-founder of the team which created, floated and then sold The Capital Pub Company for £93m, said: “West Berkshire Brewery is a fabulous, authentic, British brewing success story which I am absolutely thrilled now to lead.
“WBB makes wonderful beers in a glorious part of the world – where I have been fortunate enough to live for many years – and the really exciting bit is that beer lovers and craft-brewing enthusiasts now have the chance to join us as shareholders and to share in this great story, as well as in our future success.”
The company, of which Bruce became chairman in March 2013, is to offer family, friends and WBB fans the opportunity to buy a stake for as little as £1,000.
It is the first step in a plan to significantly expand the business, which has grown by an average of approximately 20% each year since 2001 and now has annual sales of over £1 million.
Bruce, who is no stranger to fundraisings and has a long track record of building successful and highly profitable companies in the brewing and leisure industries, is himself now a shareholder, having invested £100,000 last July and he is acquiring a further £50,000 worth of shares as part of this new initiative.
WBB – located near the River Thames, in “Wind in the Willows” country – was founded by husband-and-wife duo, Dave and Helen Maggs, almost 20 years ago when they used their life savings to launch the business – initially making beer in a converted barn behind a pub.
Together with their business partners, Andy and Karen Baum, who joined WBB in 1998, they have created a brewery that produces an array of award-winning beers.
As all four founders are approaching retirement age they have decided, instead of selling up in the traditional sense, to offer some of their founding shares to their family, friends and the loyal fans of their beers.  They all plan to remain involved and to retain a significant stake in the company.
Based in Yattendon, West Berkshire, WBB produces eight different beers, including flagship brew Good Old Boy, Swift’s Pale Ale and Dr Hexter’s Healer as well as a raft of seasonal and limited-edition brews.  Its products are now stocked in pubs across London and the Home Counties, Oxfordshire and Wiltshire, in more than 30 branches of Waitrose as well as the historic and prestigious London store, Fortnum & Mason.
Its operation now includes online sales and its own brewery shop, which stocks a variety of interesting beers, take-home packs and WBB merchandise.
The offer to buy a stake in the business will run throughout January and all enquiries should be made to the company via the brewery
Issued on behalf of West Berkshire Brewery by Fleet Street Communications.  For interview requests, photography and further information, please contact:
Mark Stretton            07974 303657          020 3567 5802
Adam Driver              07870 408102          020 3567 5805
Michelle Williams     07826 919677          020 3567 5806
About David Bruce
·         David Bruce’s international career in brewing and pubs spans 47 years
·         He co-founded and invested in breweries in the UK and overseas, including: The Paris Real Ale Brewery; The Brooklyn Brewery in New York City; The Phantom Canyon Brewery and The Wynkoop Brewery in Colorado; and The Elysian Brewery in Seattle
·         He founded and  developed Bruce’s Brewery and the Firkin chain of pubs in the 1980s
·         Bruce was responsible for the national expansion of the Slug & Lettuce chain when he was a director of Grosvenor Inns PLC
·         He co-founded The Capital Pub Company, which was listed on the stock market and eventually sold to Greene King in 2011, with an enterprise value of £93m
·         He joined the board of The West Berkshire Brewery as chairman in March 2013
·         Bruce was also a co-founder in 1980 of the Society of Independent Brewers, a hugely successful association that represents the interests of small and independent brewers that today boasts more than 700 member companies
·         He has several other business interests including being chairman of The City Pub Companies and The Country Food & Dining Group, which owns specialist farm shops, of which one in West Berkshire features its own successful vineyard, producing pinot noir and chardonnay grapes

About West Berkshire Brewery

·         The West Berkshire Brewery (WBB), in Yattendon, Berkshire, is an award-winning, privately-owned, independent brewery, founded in 1995 by Dave and Helen Maggs

·         WBB produces a selection of the highest quality craft-brewed beers and ales.  It has already won well over 30 awards, including a Gold Medal for Dr Hexter’s Healer in the strong beer category at the Great British Beer Festival in 2009

·         WBB uses traditional brewing techniques and prides itself on using British raw materials, including sourcing hops from the only remaining hop garden in Old Berkshire

·         The brewery capacity at its current site is 210 barrels per week, or around 11,000 barrels per year.

·         WBB’s range of delicious beers are available in many free houses across the country, but also as a guest beer for Enterprise Inns and, most prestigiously, its bottled beers are available in Fortnum & Mason and Waitrose

·         For more information on WBB and its outstanding range of beers, please visit, call 01635 202968 or email

·         WBB can be found on Facebook and Twitter