Entrepreneur Sam Ward and his father have joined forces to launch their own microbrewery, The Tweed Brewing Company, after receiving a £18k loan from Start Up Now the North West arm of the government’s national £150m Start Up Loans programme that is delivered by Business Finance Solutions (BFS).
Sam, 22, and his dad Dave who recently retired from 25 years in the fire service, have created a distinctive range of craft beers that are brewed by hand in Hyde by head brewer Anthony Lewis, bringing the art back to the town for the first time since 1929.
The trio, who are all from Denton, launched the microbrewery using the loan from BFS and plan to introduce an increasingly radical series of new flavours to shake up the beer market in the UK. By adding combinations of ingredients such as orange, coriander, lime, pineapple and chocolate to the beer, Sam is aiming to lower the bitterness level of the ale and increase and improve the sweetness, colour and smell of the ale.
The beers are already being snapped up by bars and pubs across Manchester including The Marble Arch and Joshua Brooks. Sam is also currently in talks with a major supermarket to trial stocks of the ales and will be showcasing a number of them at the Manchester Winter Ales festival taking place at the Velodrome at the end of January, including their infamous Winter Tweed & Black Shire Stout. Following an initial research trip in 2014, Sam also has plans to re-visit the US later this year to meet the growing demand in New York and Las Vegas for high quality British craft beers.
Sam said: “There is a real lack of imagination in this industry generally and we want The Tweed Brewing Company to be at the forefront of innovation and invention in brewing and to open people’s eyes to the varieties of ales that can be produced.
“We went to see Business Finance Solutions because we needed funding to buy the equipment and they were also able to help us with our business planning and also put us in contact with distributors in and around Manchester. With their support we now have a great range of flavours to meet the demands of drinkers today who are looking for something new and are appreciative of the work and craft that goes into a non-mass produced ale.”
The beers available from The Tweed Brewing Company include:
- 6 Points by Tweed – an amber ale with a delicate spice and pleasant bitterness
- Winter Tweed – a mahogany ale, brewed in the Altbier style with a generous helping of malted oats
- Tweed Pale Ale (TPA) - straw in colour with early pine and cedar notes with a subtle honey finish
- Black Shire Stout – a malted stout with a smooth coffee and chocolate presence and sweet liquorice notes
- Hopster - a crisp, intensely hoppy beer with a strong pineapple presence
Paul Breen, Director of Business Finance Solutions said: “Craft brewing is a huge growth industry in the North West and Sam and Dave have already proved they have a great product that is selling well.
“Britain now has 1200 breweries, a number that has increased by 10% in each of the last two years; a rise that has not been seen for more than 70 years. Micro- breweries like The Tweed Brewing Company are at the vanguard of this trend and are meeting the demands of drinkers, retailers and bars and restaurants for new and more interesting beer styles.”
Start Up Now will see £15 million allocated to new start-ups across the North West over the next two years, creating around 3000 new businesses and over 5000 new jobs in the region. Over 1000 BFS Start Up Loan recipients in the North West are now running their own businesses, creating employment and economic opportunities across Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Merseyside, Cheshire and Cumbria. Start Up Now is available to everyone over the age of 18 in the North West.