Nethergate Brewery is hoping to increase production and enter the tourism industry after it completed its move to Long Melford this week.
The brewery will be moving from its current home in Pentlow to Rodbridge Corner, with the acquisition being funded by the companies’ shareholders.
The new site will incorporate a new-build brewery, shop and a visitor centre on the main road into the town.
“We are extremely excited about our new development,” said John Holberry, managing director of Nethergate. “This represents a big step forward in our 30 year long history, and builds on strong trading performance in 2016.
“Our new visitor centre and shop will be innovative and interactive, and this move will greatly increase our profile and involvement within the local area.”
The company has previously revealed plans to enter the tourist market, perfectly situated on the edge of one of the county’s most popular villages, with Melford and Kentwell Hall, its links to the wool trade and the rolling South Suffolk and North Essex countryside.
Mr Holberry said the company was looking to establish itself as a visitor attraction by offering tours and giving visitors a chance to try out its beers, embracing the upsurge in interest in brewing.
The new building could also be used to hold local events for the village
Initially it is likely the new site will see around 50 per cent more staff employed than at the Pentlow site, with Mr Holberry hoping this will increase as the brewery grows.
The Brewery site will feature increased closed top fermenting capacity, and will significantly add to the brewing capabilities of the company, which has historically specialised in dark beer and ales.
A new flagship beer will be launched alongside the new plant, which will be christened through a brew naming competition with local people.
“We aim to provide great traditional beers with a modern twist, and to develop ales which provide huge drinking satisfaction to our consumers across our free trade, in our national partners, as well as within our own shareholder pub estate,” said Richard Gray, director of sales.
“Our branding will also be updated over the coming months, with a refreshed look and feel on the bar, in our glassware, and with online purchase functionality through our new website.”
The new Shop and visitor centre is expected to be open for Easter, with the brewery to be fully operational toward the end of Summer 2017.
Rob Crawford, general manager of the brewery said: “We will be running two sites until we are completely happy that our new equipment can produce our existing beer range perfectly, but will also be developing new beers to reflect consumer trend changes within the industry. Our new development gives us the great potential to do both of these things.”
David Martin, chairman of Long Melford Business Association has previously shared his support for the move, saying: “For the village it is good to see a new manufacturing business to add to our business profile. I expect that Nethergate will also add value to our strong tourism offer.”