Bath Ales builds 'the perfect brewery'

May 30 2018

IT might be named after a city down the road but Bath Ales is a South Gloucestershire success story.

And the Warmley-based brewer is going from strength to strength, having just opened a state-of-the-art new brewery which will enable it to produce around 14.5 million pints per year. 

Its best-known beer, Gem, can be found in hundreds of pubs and bars in the Bristol area but the opening of the new Hare Brewery is enabling it to brew more varieties, including its first lager, Sulis, and an IPA named after Lansdown Hill.

The new brew house has been built from scratch at the company’s headquarters in Southway Drive, where about 40 people work. It will be open to the public, meaning beer enthusiasts can go on a tour to find out more about how their tipple is brewed - and people can also just pop in for a pint at the Tap Room.

The multi-million pound investment by owners St Austell Brewery has doubled Bath Ales’ brewing capacity so that it can produce 50,000 brewers’ barrels of beer - close to 14.5m pints - a year. 

It includes fermentation tanks which can hold 28,800 pints at a time and the capacity to fill 7,000 up to bottles per hour. The brewery even has a water treatment plant to produce the pure soft water needed for its new lager.    

Brewing director Roger Ryman, who oversees brewing and production at Bath Ales and St Austell Brewery, said: “From the very start of the project we’ve all shared a clear vision for Hare Brewery - to build one of the region’s most technologically advanced and fully bespoke brewhouses. 

“We hope the new brewery will play its part in shining a light on the vibrant south west beer scene.”

Roger said the project had enabled him and his colleagues to “build a perfect brewery” from scratch.  

Senior brewer Darren James, who has been at Bath Ales for over 15 years, said the Hare Brewery had been “built from the ground up”.

He said: “We’re quite literally opening the doors to the brewhouse, in that beer fans will be able to see it for themselves – we’ll be holding regular brewery tours, which means that people can see our new kit and visit our tap room to taste our beers at their freshest.”

Bath Ales’ old brewery in nearby Crown Way is also set to gain a new lease of life, after being sold to the London Beer Factory.

The Tap Room will open on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from June 7, opening from 5pm-8.30pm on Thursdays, 3pm-8.30pm on Fridays and 11am-5pm on Saturdays.

Tours of the brew house will be available on the same days but must be booked in advance by calling 0117 947 4797 from May 29.

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