Wharfe Bank Brewery pulls in a £50,000 investment from Finance Yorkshire

Left to right: Karl Hodson from Finance Yorkshire with Martin Kellaway, Director at Wharfe Bank Brewery

Independent craft ale brewers at Wharfe Bank Brewery hope to increase their presence in both the UK and overseas markets thanks to a £50,000 investment from Finance Yorkshire.

The boutique brewer, which operates out of a converted paper mill on the banks of the River Wharfe in Pool-in-Wharfedale, West Yorkshire, plans to roll out its unique beers to more of the UK’s supermarkets, and investigate opportunities in Europe and North America.

Wharfe Bank Brewery beers – Tether Blond and Yorkshire IPA – are now stocked in around 50 Tesco and Sainsbury’s stores across Yorkshire, while visits to European and American food and drink fairs have proven a success.

Martin Kellaway, who founded Wharfe Bank Brewery in 2010, will also use the investment from Finance Yorkshire to transform the corporate branding and labelling of its pump clips and premium bottled beers to enhance its on-bar and on-shelf presence, and to emphasise its craft nature and Yorkshire provenance.

Having just recruited award-winning home brewer Steve Crump, Martin also plans to employ a beer-loving sales representative, which will increase the team to eight.

Wharfe Bank initially only brewed cask ale for pubs, but began producing premium bottled beers and craft keg ales to keep up with consumer demand.

Martin said: “We knew Finance Yorkshire had invested in other breweries, and heard positive feedback that they had been supportive and quick to respond, so we got in touch.

“The process was simple to follow and fast to conclude.”

Karl Hodson, Finance Yorkshire Investment Manager, said: “Finance Yorkshire offers gap funding to fast-growing companies like Wharfe Bank Brewery that need investment so they can keep up with demand.

“Wharfe Bank Brewery has experienced an impressive first three years in trading, and it is an exciting time to be involved.

“The brewery has compelling plans to expand into the European and North American markets, and strong forecasts.”

Finance Yorkshire provides Seedcorn, Loan and Equity Linked investments, ranging from £15,000 to £2million, specifically to help small and medium sized businesses meet the gaps in the market for the funding they need for growth and development.

Finance Yorkshire has been developed as a European JEREMIE* initiative and is capitalised by grants from UK Government (£15m), European Regional Development Fund (£30m) and finance from the European Investment Bank (£45m).

Note: this news article is from Finance Yorkshire’s previous fund. Read more about Finance Yorkshire