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Case Study: Ilkley Brewery

Published: May 2014

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Left to right: Andy Chaffer, Finance Yorkshire, Grahame Lunt, Finance Yorkshire, Chris Ives, Ilkley Brewery

Multi award-winning Ilkley Brewery supplies its real ales in cask to pubs across Yorkshire. It also supplies its bottled beers to several of the supermarket multiples in the region including Booths, Morrisons and Asda and more recently, has gained new customers in America and Europe.

The Company

Managing director Chris Ives launched Ilkley Brewery in 2009 after a 20-year career in commercial property. With increased visibility and credibility for its beers, the brewery moved to larger premises in 2011. In addition to supplying its domestic market, Ilkley Brewery was keen to exploit the potential of international trade after initial success in the US and Scandinavia.

The Solution

A £150,000 Business Loan from Finance Yorkshire has enabled the brewery to invest in fermentation and automatic cask filling equipment which is boosting production capacity by some 33 per cent at its Ashlands Road premises.

Chris Ives said: “The Finance Yorkshire funding will help us in the next stage of our growth plans – part of the reason for increasing production capacity is so we can increase our exports.”

The Investment Rationale

Ilkley Brewery employs 14 staff and has plans to recruit more people. It has won several awards and listings with major supermarkets and has recognised the potential in new, international markets.

Andy Chaffer, Investment Manager at Finance Yorkshire, said: “Since its launch, Ilkley Brewery has grown exponentially, supported by a solid business strategy and a real passion among both those at the helm and those employed in the day to day brewing of its beers.

“The Finance Yorkshire funding will enable the brewery to move to the next level, increasing production significantly but on a sustainable basis for the longer term benefit of the business.”

Future Expectations

Ilkley Brewery marked its fifth anniversary in 2014 with the brewing of its 1,000th brew: a Darjeeling and blackberry infused brown ale called Mash Tonne. It now ships its beers across the UK and as far afield at Alabama, US and Shanghai in China.

Chris Ives added: “Mash Tonne is just one of at least 10 brand new beers being brewed this year, highlighting our desire to continue to create and innovate.”

For more information about Finance Yorkshire, please visit www.finance-yorkshire.com  or call 0845 649 0000.

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