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Norfolk Business Awards 2018

Brewery looking to tap back in to pub trade after Tesco deal falls through

PUBLISHED: 05:53 13 February 2018 | UPDATED: 10:56 13 February 2018

Redwell Brewery is under new ownership.
One of the new owners Warren Thorp 
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2017

Redwell Brewery is under new ownership. One of the new owners Warren Thorp Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2017

ARCHANT EASTERN DAILY PRESS (01603) 772434

Bosses at a craft brewery say they will redouble efforts to build a local customer base after losing a contract to supply Tesco.

Redwell Brewery, which is based in Trowse, has seen a contract to supply canned beers to the supermarket giant ended shortly after the firm was bought out of administration.

Operations director Warren Thorp, who was part of a group of investors which took on the business after it ran into trouble, said the end of the Tesco deal had led to the loss of three jobs, but that the firm was looking to increase its presence in city pubs.

“When we took the business on we knew there was some risk there,” he said.

“We wanted to start selling more to local trade as fast as possible to spread that risk but unfortunately Tesco got in touch almost as soon as the year started.”

Mr Thorp said he believed there had been some issues with the quality and consistency of some deliveries last year which may have been behind the delisting.

However, he said Tesco had left the door open for conversations to reopen later in the year and added that a contract with Aldi was still being fulfilled.

A spokesman for Tesco said the supermarket had ended its arrangement with Redwell due to the company going into administration.

Redwell, which was founded by Patrick Fisher and Amy Hancock in 2013, had increased its team to eight people after the new owners took over as they sought to reestablish the brand’s presence in Norfolk. But the loss of the deal with Tesco, and subsequent job cuts, brings the team down to five members.

Mr Thorp said: “I am not going to lie: it was very painful but we are going to focus on building up our trade work which is what we had planned to do anyway.

“I am afraid the team is now rather small but things are picking up and if it goes well hopefully we will be employing again.

“We are trying to see the positives. We are almost like a start-up but with better equipment and experienced members of staff.

“We have the opportunity to be innovative.”

Experienced brewer Belinda Jennings, who has worked for Woodforde’s and Adnams, has been charged with coming up with new brews which Mr Thorp said he hoped would help the firm move forward.

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