Craft breweries say cheers to six-figure loan

Craig Lee, Managing Director at Rudgate Brewery.

Craft breweries say cheers to six-figure loan

Four artisan breweries are set to roll out the barrel and expand after backing from business lender the Business Enterprise Fund (BEF). 

The breweries, including York-based Rudgate Brewery, have received a combined funding boost of more than £132K from BEF, a social enterprise offering funding and mentoring for businesses across Yorkshire and the North East. 

Award-winning Rudgate Brewery, based in the Vale of York, has worked closely with BEF for more than three years, receiving funding and advice to support its continuing expansion.

A recent NPIF loan of £45K was given to help Rudgate Brewery secure a range of bottled beer for Virgin Trains.

Managing Director at Rudgate Brewery, Craig Lee, said: “Backing from BEF has been fundamental for our growth plans, arranging finance and top-ups to support our expansion after we secured deals with Wetherspoons and Greene King.

“The funding allowed us to develop our vast selection of core and seasonal beer through investment in staff and equipment.”

As the micro-brewing industry continues to grow across the UK, BEF has witnessed an increase in the demand for start-up loans and finance to support the expansion of existing facilities.

Huddersfield-based Lords Brewing and Gateshead-based Great North Eastern Brewing have also received BEF funding for recruitment, equipment, transport and ingredients.

The UK’s first wheat beer brewery, Eyes Brewing in Leeds, also approached BEF for funding after two years of home brewing in order to develop its products.

Group Chief Executive at the Business Enterprise Fund, Stephen Waud, said: “The craft brewing industry is booming and never more than in Yorkshire and the North East.

BEF has the funding and the expertise to play an instrumental role in supporting the expansion of several breweries which have true entrepreneurial spirit at their heart and a real head for business.

We’re simply facilitating their growth and looking forward to watching their continued success in this incredibly competitive market place.”