An award-winning brewery in Caerphilly has announced a £250,000 expansion plan to double its turnover by 2015.
The Celt Experience, which brews internationally acclaimed craft beers and exports to 20 countries, is set to double turnover and capacity in a key £250,000 expansion supported by the Welsh Government.
The investment, backed by £90,000 from the Welsh Government’s Economic Growth Fund, will enable the craft brewery on Caerphilly’s Pontygwindy Industrial Estate, to improve efficiency, increase production and create seven new jobs, doubling employment at the site.
The Celt Experience has doubled sales over the last two years and as a result of this investment anticipates its current £1m turnover will double by 2015, with production set to increase from 500,000 bottles a year to one million.
Managing Director Tom Newman said the investment would take the company to the next phase of development and enable it to meet increasing demand from customers.
He said: “Support from the Welsh Government is critical and will allow us to grow the business and ramp up production to meet the growing demand for our products. The focus is on increasing efficiency, investing in innovative equipment to increase capacity and creating a strong management structure
“At the moment I’m head brewer, engineer, managing director, marketing director and controller of operations! This investment will enable me to bring in a strong and professional management team who can take over a number of these functions and help me take the business to the next level.”
Economy Minister Edwina Hart said the second phase of the Economic Growth Fund was specifically set up to support SMEs to grow their business.
She said: “The Fund has been extremely successful in supporting business growth and I am pleased it will enable The Celt Experience to expand, increase its exports and create a number of new jobs. Small and Medium sized businesses are the lifeblood of the Welsh economy and helping these enterprises grow will help spread prosperity around Wales.”
The company has been supported by the Welsh Government to take part in a number of international trade missions, visits and exhibitions, with The Celt Experience now exporting to twenty countries, accounting for around 30% of turnover.
Mr Newman added: “I work very closely with Welsh Government officials in a number of countries overseas and at least 20% of our export markets have been achieved through this support.”
Mr Newman began brewing in his father’s garage nine years ago and as the quality improved he relocated the brewery in 2007 and developed The Celt Experience brand. The beers, aimed at the top end of the market, are presented in creative and contemporary packaging.
The Celt Experience has seven core products, three high strength beers and produces a special series each month through collaborating with other breweries or beer specialists.
Celt Experience beers have won twelve awards this summer alone, including overall winner at the Society of Independent Brewers Association (SIBA) exhibition and most recently two gold awards at the International Beer Competition in Tokyo.
It is stocked by all five top supermarkets in Wales and sold to pubs, restaurants and hotels through wholesale distributors.