Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 10°C

ESTD 1874 Search

WIN A NEW HYUNDAI i10 - See the EADT on June 8 for full details

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.

shares

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.

shares

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

Andrew Wheeler of Brewin Dolphin.

Andrew Wheeler, head of the Ipswich office of investment manager Brewin Dolphin, has hailed the firm’s “good progress”.

Thomson Airways' new Boeing 787 Dreamliner touching down at Stansted.

Stansted Airport today marked the arrival of the latest in airline technology with the launch of a new long-haul service from the Essex terminal.

'Love every drop' branding on an Anglian Water van.

Regional water and sewerage services group Anglian Water has announced an increase in underlying annual profits, following a year which marked the end of a five-year settlement with regulator Ofwat.

An LA Fitness gym.

Low-cost gym operator Pure Gym is to acquire mid-market rival LA Fitness, picking up 43 clubs for an undisclosed sum thought to be in the range of £60million to £80m.

Frank Brumby, eastern region chairman of R3.

East of England business victims of late payment saw more than one in six (16%) of their invoices paid late in the last six months, according to research by insolvency trade body R3.

B&Q parent Kingfisher said it was ploughing on with a shake-up plan

B&Q parent Kingfisher said today it was ploughing on with a shake-up plan “at pace” as it reported a first quarter slide in sales at the DIY chain.

Sarah Howard, president of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, and Mark Pendlington, chairman of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, at the celebration marking the first year of work by the New Anglia Growth Hub.

Supporters and staff from the New Anglia Growth Hub today celebrated its first year of work.

The new Escape lounge at Stansted Airport.

A new business lounge at Stansted Airport has been used by more than 9,000 visitors in its first month.

Rooney Anand, chief executive of Greene King.

Proposals from pubs and brewing company Greene King designed to address concerns over its agreed acquisition of the Spirit Pub Company look set to be backed by the UK’s competition authority.

Angus Berry, energy manager at Thames Water, and Richard Robey, sales and marketing director at Haven Power.

Haven Power, the specialist supplier of electricity to UK businesses, has signed a deal with Thames Water worth more than £500million over the next five years.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages