Mar 17 2011 By Neil Hodgson
A NEW investment in Birkenhead’s Peerless Brewing Company will deliver 40% more production capacity and set up a national sales drive.
The Pool Street business is also recruiting a sales manager to ensure profits flow from its expansion plans.
Funding support from Wirral council and help from Barclays Bank and the Manufacturing Advisory Service provided £25,000 for 220 new ale casks and cask washing equipment to support its sales push.
Production is expected to increase to about 140 nine gallon casks each week and the 220 extra casks will allow the brewer to target clients further afield, as they will take longer to be returned.
Alongside financial help, Wirral council provided business support through its Invest Wirral team which worked closely with the company in helping to develop a business plan and growth strategy.
The latest expansion follows other investment during 2010 in recruiting two new staff, including a trainee brewer, which was supported through Wirral council’s apprenticeship scheme.
Peerless supplies national pub outlets across the north west and, since its launch in 2009, has seen turnover surge 30% ahead of its business plan.
The award-winning brewer is preparing to expand its sales base after a recent brewing industry report revealed that cask ale is the only growing beer sector.
Managing director and head brewer Steve Briscoe said: "Demand for Peerless beers continues to grow, both in our Wirral heartland and across the region.
"For instance, our premium strength Full Whack ale is now a regular beer in a very busy central Manchester Wetherspoon’s pub."
Two new ales, Viking Gold and Paxton’s Peculiar, will join the brewer’s growing menu of real ales and Mr Briscoe added: "The new brands will help us to develop further and benefit from our investment.
"We are delighted that Invest Wirral could assist us in our push to grow and that, in the economic current climate, Barclays Bank has also been very positive about our plans."