Scott Mann MP meets the team at Sharp’s Brewery
Sharp’s Brewery is aiming for increased capacity at its Cornish base following the opening of a new £2.5 million quality lab and racking line.
The new resources, officially opened by local MP Scott Mann, have immediately improved production efficiency as well as increasing the output at the brewery in Rock, where the UK’s top-selling cask beer, Doom Bar, is produced.
Mr Mann met the Sharp’s team for a brewery tour and to view the new racking line, which has increased output. To support the demand for Sharp’s beers, the racking system now provides greater automation and operates five days a week, with the ability to package 300,000 pints a day — a 30% improvement on the previous production line. The efficient design and operation of the new racking has seen improved health and safety benefits for employees, and has enabled Sharp’s to decrease water usage by 17% and steam production by 25%.
The number of permanent Sharp’s Brewery employees has now risen to 148, up from 135 in 2015, with more increases to come in 2018. Sharp’s has also introduced an apprentice scheme in conjunction with Cornwall College.
During the MP’s visit, James Nicholls, Sharp’s senior brands manager, explained the brewer’s success story, growing in just over 20 years from a small microbrewery to brewing the number one cask beer in the UK. He said: “Our brewery at Rock, in North Cornwall, is the beating heart of our business. Since Bill Sharp founded Sharp’s Brewery in 1994, the business has experienced phenomenal growth, way beyond our expectations, and as the largest brewer in the South West, investing in our brewery at Rock remains of paramount importance to us.
“2017 was another positive year for Sharp’s, with our flagship beer, Doom Bar, remaining the UK’s number one selling cask and premium bottled ale brand. We also launched new additions to Sharp’s portfolio as we are always looking to innovate and excite our customers and consumers with new beers. This year we are introducing four new beers in the limited-edition range, plus some smaller batch brews from our pilot plant, and there are some other exciting projects in the pipeline.”
Mr Mann said: “Sharp’s Brewery is a fabulous example of what can be achieved in the food and drink sector in Cornwall. Its growth over recent years is a direct result of a top-quality product, investment in research and development, and very effective branding. The new barrelling line will increase production and boost its reach into more pubs and restaurants around the country.”
As part of Sharp’s long-term commitment to maintaining world class beer quality standards, Sharp’s has remodelled its quality lab to ensure that beer quality is of the highest standard. With the investment in infrastructure refurbishment and technical equipment that will support the lab team, the new temperature-controlled lab environment enables Sharp’s to achieve reliable and repeatable analysis, and further increase quality assurance for all Sharp’s customers.
Sharp’s gained 18 awards in 2017 for its beers, bringing its total award tally close to 100.