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Fri 11th May 2018 - Everards to open distillery and 200-capacity beer hall next to new brewery
Everards to open distillery and 200-capacity beer hall next to new brewery: Leicestershire brewer and retailer Everards has announced plans to build a 200-plus capacity beer hall and start distilling its own gins, vodka, rum and saké at its new £20m Everards meadows brewery site, where building work began on Tuesday (8 May). The company wants to create a range of spirits for its 172 pubs and partners such as Leicester Tigers rugby club and Curve Theatre alongside its Tiger, Beacon Hill and Old Original beers. Everards wants to install a copper still in a new brewery planned as part of a more than £20m investment at the site, which is next to police headquarters in Enderby. The business has also revealed plans for a 200-plus capacity beer hall linked to the brewery, hosting tasting sessions, brewery tours, food and drink festivals, and other events to help establish Everards Meadows as a new tourist destination. Chief executive Stephen Gould told the Leicester Mercury: “We will be working with our partners between now and the end of 2019 to create a range of Everards spirits produced by us using, I hope, botanicals we have harvested in Everards Meadows. Because the new brewery will be more agile than the one we had at Castle Acres, I suspect we will produce different styles and varieties of beer – alongside our main traditional styles – in addition to lots of different styles and varieties of spirits. We are still looking into distilling from our own beer – some distillers buy in the raw spirit and some produce from beer mash so there will be more news on that to follow.” He said they would invest £5.4m in new brewing and distillation equipment supplied by industry leader Briggs of Burton. Everards Meadows will offer almost two miles of cycling and footpaths, mooring points on the Grand Union Canal and a new bridge over the River Soar. A cycle centre – operated by Rutland Cycles and offering bikes to buy or rent – and a cafe will open next May. Of the 5,000 square foot beer hall, which would be open seven days a week, Gould said: “We were inspired to have a beer hall by the type of things they have in America and Australia, where they have a lot of bars attached to breweries. We think it will be a fabulous, vibrant space joined to the brewery rather than separate from it. People will be able to have a pint looking directly at the brewery in a space that is open plan and managed by Everards. It has necessitated a refreshed planning application, though, and we have shared the vision with Blaby District Council and it has been hugely supportive.” Meanwhile, Everards has announced its 172-strong pub estate performed well with trading contribution growing by 2.2% on a like-for-like basis in the year ending 30 September 2017. The company stated: “The pub estate performance has once again provided a strong foundation for continued investment in refurbishments and business development. The Castle Acres site was sold to The Crown Estate in November for the development of 300,000 square feet of new shops to complement the existing Fosse Park. Additional overheads associated with the closure and subsequent sale of Castle Acres, along with dual production and operational running costs for the second six months of the year resulted in a pre-exceptional Ebitda of £5.0m, which was £0.6m behind the prior year, while turnover of £31m was level with the prior year. Everards has also relocated supply chain functions (distribution, warehousing, cellar services and telesales) to a £4.2m purpose-built logistics centre in Glenfield, Leicestershire. Temporary office facilities have also been created there for other departments prior to moving to new offices at Everards Meadows. Trading in the first half of the new financial year to the end of March 2018 has performed to expectations with pub estate trading contribution growing by 1.9% on a like-for-like basis. For the full year, the company forecasts positive trading performance along with reduced overhead costs as a result of the work completed in 2017. Investment activity has been strong with a £560,000 refurbishment at the Racehorse in Warwick and £150,000 refurbishments at The Forge in Glenfield and the Sir John Borlase Warren in Nottingham. The company’s Project William innovation continues to develop with the acquisition in May of a NatWest Bank in Trentham, Stoke-on-Trent. Following statutory consents to convert this unlicensed property it will be Titanic Brewery’s sixth Project William pub.” Gould added: “It has been a very busy year at Everards. I am encouraged our pub estate and beer brands have performed well in a competitive market. We continue to attract and retain very talented licensees who, as business owners in their own right, create independent, competitive and attractive offers to their customers. Preparing for the sale of our Castle Acres site has naturally initiated lots of change but we have sold the site to The Crown Estate, developed a great new logistics centre at Optimus Point, delivered successful partner brewing relationships, and prepared the way for the construction of Everards Meadows, which commenced on 8 May and will include, among other things, a new brewery and brewpub. The brewery will focus production on our pub estate, partnership accounts and shop (on and offline). We continue to develop our pub and unlicensed property estates and aim to add further sites through freehold acquisition.” David Middlemiss, managing director of Rutland Cycling, added: “At Everards Meadows we’ll be opening our 13th store and it’s our most exciting project to date. This is an opportunity to bring cycle hire and sales to Leicestershire like we have been able to do in Rutland and other locations across the East Midlands. Leicester and Leicestershire doesn’t have an offer like this. There are lots of safe, interesting and traffic-free paths for people of all ages and ability to cycle on. We feel privileged to be working with Everards – a regional, family business like ours”. Keith Bott, managing director of Titanic Brewery, said: “Working with Everards since 2007 to deliver great community pubs has worked fantastically well for Titanic. Now, as we enter a new phase of our growth, having Everards on board to help us roll out our new bar cafe concept “Bod” through Project William is hugely exciting. Everards is forward-thinking, easy to deal with, and genuinely believes in a collaborative approach, learning and developing our ideas with us and sharing the ups and downs along the way.”

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