Jim Harrison, Thornbridge’s MD, reports that a massive 845% increase in exports in the past year has led the way for further investment in production capability at the brewery in 2013. “Unbelievable” says Harrison to the export increase “for a small brewery in the Peak District it’s great to see our beers being enjoyed across the world. We began exporting small quantities of bottled and keg beers about three years ago to a couple of countries but we now export to around twenty with the USA, Sweden and Italy being our major markets. Getting our head around the requirements of exporting was a bit of challenge at first but we have partnered with some great importers and this has been crucial to our success”.
Thornbridge launched its flagship Jaipur IPA bottled beer into Sweden early in 2013 and has seen it rise to being one of the bestselling beers in the country. Simon Webster, Thornbridge’s Chief Operating Officer, reports that “the team at the brewery has been working very hard to ensure supply, not only for our UK customers, but also the overseas demand. We expanded production by about 30% in 2012 and are just finalising some further investment in brewing vessels to increase this again in late 2013”.
Always concerned to ensure that quality is paramount Webster says “we have stopped short of introducing 24 hour brewing as we want a spirit of “one team” to be preserved and a focus on quality and consistency for all that we do”. I can’t see us expanding production beyond this next increase so we will continue to build a worldwide reputation based on the quality of our beers not ubiquitous supply”.
Thornbridge started brewing in 2005 from a 10 barrel plant in the grounds of Thornbridge Hall. It opened a new brewery at Bakewell in 2009. It now employs 30 staff at the brewery and around 300 in a number of bars, pubs and restaurants.
Town and Country: Innovation and Inspiration @ Thornbridge
Left: Jim Harrison MD
Right: Simon Webster COO