The only gluten-free brewery in the UK has launched a campaign to source funds for its expansion.
Located in Scotland, the Bellfield Brewery launched in March last year and after a successful first 12 months of trading, it’s looking to extend its offering and brew even more gluten-free beers.
It’s currently looking for £50,000 in funding to allow it to expand, both in terms of its team and the range of beers it offers. Making all their current operational staff full-time is one of the objectives, as is increasing the size of the sales and management teams.
Fans of their gluten-free brews, such as Bohemian Pilsner and Lawless IPA, will no doubt be pleased to hear that the funding will also support the development of new recipes, as well as a change to the packaging formats.
Kieran Middleton, head of the business development team, commented: “We have established that there is considerable demand for our products, and have delivered on our ambition to produce a beer that stands up to anything in the market.”
Bellfield Brewery’s mission is to “craft-brew certified gluten-free beer that tastes great”. It was established by two Coeliac friends who wanted to cater for others who suffer from the same autoimmune illness that is caused by a severe allergy to gluten.
The brewing process is optimised to remove gluten at every stage, which means they can do so naturally, without having to add enzymes to their beer that removes the gluten. The latter option is how many brewers approach production of a gluten-free beer – they simply add these enzymes to their regular brews.
Ingredients such as maize and low-gluten barley are used to produce the beer for Bellfield Brewery, at a different site that’s under contract. However, if they are successful in raising the additional funds the company aims to bring some of its brewing operations in-house.
And it isn’t just niche microbreweries like Bellfield that are thriving in the UK. A report by UHY Hacker Young towards the end of 2016 revealed that the number of microbreweries in the country climbed by eight per cent in a year.
There are now approximately 1,700 craft breweries in the UK, which represents a 65 per cent increase in just five years.
The company also predicted that Brexit, and the weakening of the pound that occurred in the wake of the country’s vote to leave the EU, will benefit the craft beer sector more than other areas of the food and drink industry.
Firstly, import charges are unlikely to be an issue for these small businesses as they typically brew and distribute their products locally. Secondly, the bigger, international brewers they’re competing with will be affected by currency fluctuations, which means they may be forced to increase their prices, narrowing the gap between their products and those of the craft brewers.
If you have a brewery in the UK, make sure your premises are fitted with the highest quality food and beverage filters to produce superior brews that go down well with customers.