Bruce bounces back at West Berks
Added: Tuesday, December 31st 2013
International brewing and pub entrepreneur David Bruce is once more on the brewing trail with his latest venture – an independent and award-winning brewery that makes an array of craft-brewed beers including Good Old Boy and Dr Hexter’s Healer.
Bruce, who has launched multiple breweries in Britain, Europe and North America, has teamed up with the founders of The West Berkshire Brewery (WBB) to offer beer lovers and local residents a chance to buy a stake in the company.
The entrepreneur, who famously developed both the Firkin and the Slug & Lettuce pub chains and was a co-founder of the team which created, floated and then sold The Capital Pub Company for £93m, said: “West Berkshire Brewery is a fabulous, authentic, British brewing success story which I am absolutely thrilled now to lead.
“WBB makes wonderful beers in a glorious part of the world – where I have been fortunate enough to live for many years – and the really exciting bit is that beer lovers and craft-brewing enthusiasts now have the chance to join us as shareholders and to share in this great story, as well as in our future success.”
The company, of which Bruce became chairman in March 2013, is to offer family, friends and WBB fans the opportunity to buy a stake for as little as £1,000.
It is the first step in a plan to significantly expand the business, which has grown by an average of approximately 20% each year since 2001 and now has annual sales of over £1 million.
Bruce, who is no stranger to fundraisings and has a long track record of building successful and highly profitable companies in the brewing and leisure industries, is now a shareholder. He invested £100,000 last July and he is acquiring a further £50,000 worth of shares as part of this new initiative.
WBB, located near the River Thames, in Wind in the Willows country, was founded by husband-and-wife duo, Dave and Helen Maggs, almost 20 years ago when they used their life savings to launch the business initially making beer in a converted barn behind a pub. Dave is seen above (right) with David Bruce in suitable Toad and Ratty guise.
Together with their business partners Andy and Karen Baum, who joined WBB in 1998, they have created a brewery that produces an array of award-winning beers.
As all four founders are approaching retirement age they have decided, instead of selling up in the traditional sense, to offer some of their founding shares to their family, friends and the loyal fans of their beers. They all plan to remain involved and to retain a significant stake in the company.
Based in Yattendon, West Berkshire, WBB produces eight different beers, including flagship brew Good Old Boy, Swift’s Pale Ale and Dr Hexter’s Healer as well as a raft of seasonal and limited-edition brews. Its products are now stocked in pubs across London and the Home Counties, Oxfordshire and Wiltshire, in more than 30 branches of Waitrose as well as the historic and prestigious London store, Fortnum & Mason.
Its operation now includes online sales and its own brewery shop, which stocks a variety of interesting beers, take-home packs and WBB merchandise.
The offer to buy a stake in the business will run throughout January and all enquiries should be made to the company via the brewery website: www.wbbrew.com.