Craft brewer plans further expansion

Williams Bros upgrades facilities as part of £1 million investment

By Matthew Lynas

ALLOA-based craft beer brewer Williams Bros. Brewing Co is set for further expansion as part of a £1 million investment in the business.

A new £660,000 bottling machine, a canning machine, extra warehouse space and additional conditioning tanks and storage silos have all been confirmed as part of the expansion project.
Richard McLelland, director of sales at Williams Bros, said the new facilities will enable the brewer to keep up with what he said is growing demand.
The new bottling machine, which was installed last week, will be used for Williams Bros’ beers as well as beers and ciders from other craft producers it provides a bottling service for, which include Fyne Ales, Harviestoun and Thistly Cross Cider.

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McLelland of Williams Bros.
McLelland of Williams Bros.

The new canning equipment, meanwhile, will allow Williams Bros to launch its first range of canned craft beers. Its Joker IPA and Caesar Augustus will be the first beers to be released in can format within the next six months.
Williams Bros also plans to launch a 500ml PET format in the next three months, which will be targeted at the grocery sector as well as festivals.
The expansion comes as Williams Bros secured additional listings for its beers with Sainsbury’s, which is set to add a further six Williams Bros beers to the five it currently stocks.
McLelland said demand for Williams Bros beers has increased across the board, taking the company’s turnover from £2.9 million to £4m in the past two years.
“In addition to this, our expansion in key export markets, our continued exponential growth across the UK’s on-trade craft keg scene and the use of the brewery as a ‘Scottish hub’ for craft beer – bottling for the likes of Fyne Ales, Thistly Cross Cider and Harviestoun (specialist beers) means I am confident that we will cruise past £5m in 2014,” he said.
“To cope with increased demand and turnover, we are in the process of a £1 million expansion project which will see the footprint of the brewery increase by 33%, the installation of a £660,000 state-of-the-art bottling machine and the creation of nine new jobs at our Alloa base.”