Charles Wells, the family-owned business with an estate of award-winning pubs, is set to change its name to Wells & Co.
Chief executive, Justin Phillimore, said: “After 142 years and five generations of family involvement, we have not embarked on this lightly, but we feel it embodies the change of direction we have taken as a business.
“This includes the significant investment we are making in our pubs and the creation of a beautifully designed new home, capable of producing a range of beer styles that we would not have dreamed of ten years ago. It is a statement of confidence about our future direction as a company.”
Work has started on Brewpoint, a new company home, housing a pub-restaurant, retail shop, coffee roastery, company offices and a visitor centre, focused around the creation of exceptional beer. It is due to open in early summer 2020.
Brewpoint will be located on a gateway site to the north-west of Bedford, at the meeting of the A6 and the northern Bedford bypass, making it readily accessible to a wide area of Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire.
Brewpoint’s brewing capability will be highly flexible, enabling the creation of a huge range of beer styles. It will have the capacity to make 30,000 hectolitres of beer each year, equivalent to five million pints.
Over the last couple of years, the business has been creating collaboration brews every month with some of the UK’s finest smaller breweries. The resulting beer, sold under the Wandering Brewer name, has been poured in Wells & Co pubs since October 2017.
In summer 2020, Brewpoint will start brewing, selecting the most popular of the Wandering Brewer beers to brew, alongside its existing Charlie Wells Dry Hop Lager and Triple Hop IPA beers. The majority of the beer brewed will go to pubs within the company’s own estate.
Site designed with sustainability in mind
Commercial director, Peter Wells, said: “Our family and Bedfordshire heritage remains a key part of our DNA and a credit to what the business has achieved so far. This is such an exciting time for myself and the team, watching this fabulous new site grow over the coming months as we eagerly anticipate opening in summer next year.
“As part of our local approach, we have worked on the branding with students from Bedford College and the Bedford agency, Eat With Your Eyes. Together we have developed a standout name and visual image for the new site.”
The site has been designed with sustainability in mind, with solar cells on the roof, solar shading, air source heating and cooling, alongside a highly efficient modern brewing plant. The car park will incorporate nine car charging points.
Once open, the site will employ more than 85 people locally, as well as many more in pubs across the local area and France.