Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 8°C

ESTD 1874 Search

The pigs are coming. Find out more about

Pigs Gone Wild

here.

Suffolk/ Essex: Growler Brewery saved as Nethergate founder leads buy-back consortium

09:08 15 April 2014

Nethergate founder Dick Burge with a glass of Old Growler at a celebration last year marking the beer

Nethergate founder Dick Burge with a glass of Old Growler at a celebration last year marking the beer's 25th anniversary.

Archant

A Suffolk brewer has said he feels like he is coming home after stepping in to save the struggling brewery he founded almost 30 years ago.

Dick Burge has led a consortium to buy back the Growler Brewery, based in Pentlow, Essex, which he originally established as Nethergate in 1986.

The award-winning brewery was put up for sale in March having only been taken over by its current management in 2010, who went about rebranding Nethergate as Growler – its most popular beer.

However, Mr Burge said he wants to bring the company back to its Nethergate roots and renew focus on its core business.

“We’re going to use the Nethergate name much more than the Growler,” said Mr Burge from the brewer’s base yesterday.

“I’ve spoken to our customers today, about 20 customers, and they all say that Nethergate works better. We want to go back to our core business, which is supplying freehouses within our area, which is probably anywhere within 60 or 70 miles.

“It feels like a homecoming, in a way. I’ve always felt emotionally involved in Nethergate as a brand, and I did not want to see it die.”

Mr Burge originally set the business up in Clare, with it moving the short distance to its current site on the Essex/Suffolk border in 2005.

It currently employs 12 people and has an annual turnover approaching £2million.

There were concerns that the recently opened Waggon and Horses pub in nearby Sudbury was in jeopardy having been widely portrayed as a Growler Brewery pub.

However, Mr Burge insisted it was owned by a private individual rather than the brewery, and had never been in the hands of McTear Williams & Wood, which was handling Growler’s sale.

He added: “It is owned by an individual who will still regard it as a Nethergate pub.

“He is very much convinced it should remain as a brewer’s tap – the pub has done very well anyway so far, selling products from Growler Brewery.”

Growler was voted brewery of the year in 2012 by the Good Pub Guide, and has also scooped the Campaign for Real Ale’s national Champion Winter Beer title on two occasions.

2 comments

  • Wasn't it just last year that the brewery reportedly 'saved' the Waggon and Horses and now the brewery has had to be saved itself! Best of luck to the new owners though and I'm sure they will do a much better job than the muppets who were running it previously

    Report this comment

    SSB

    Wednesday, April 16, 2014

  • Excellent news. I hope whoever made the bonkers decision to change from the well-known and respected Nethergate name lost plenty of his own money on this. Maybe Dick could persuade Ian Hornsey to come out of retirement to brew a celebration beer?

    Report this comment

    beerlover

    Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

The Inspirations shop in Wickham Market,owned by shareholders in the community, is now officially open. Nick Denny from the Co-op cut the ribbon.

The much anticipated transformation of a Suffolk village’s former supermarket into a new community retail venture was celebrated this week - four years after the site was last in use.

New-build utility connections specialist Brookfield Utilities has reported increased annual profits.
Photo: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

Annual profits at Suffolk-based Brookfield Utilities have increased by more than one-third as it continues to add to the number of properties it connects.

Curtis Banks Group chief executive Rupert Curtis (left) with Will Self, managing director of Suffolk Life, outside the company's offices in Princes Street, Ipswich.

Self-invested personal pensions (SIPP) specialist Curtis Banks Group has completed the £45m acquisition of Ipswich-based Suffolk Life from Legal & General (L&G).

Dan Everitt, managing director of MSC UK.

Dan Everitt, managing director at the Mediterranean Shipping Company’s UK headquarters in Ipswich, has been named Multimodal Personality of the Year at a leading industry awards ceremony.

Celebrating the launch of British Airways flights from Stansted Airport are Luke Hayhoe of BA CityFlyer (left) and Andrew Cowan of Stansted Airport with British Airways’ cabin crew Paulina Stasiak (left) and Danielle Bellini.

The first British Airways flights from Stansted Airport will get off to a flying start this weekend with all the summer sun destinations fully booked.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24