Wiltshire’s newest micro brewer, launched in May this year, is already celebrating weekly sales of 3,500 pints sold through 62 pubs, all within a 25-mile radius of the brewery in Westbury.
Twisted Brewing’s owner Andrew Murray only decided to create the micro-brewery in December 2013. The impressive five-month turnaround from idea to launch was thanks to a Rural Economy Grant from the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) of almost £35,000 – more than one third of the new business’s start-up costs.
The grant, administered by Wiltshire Council through The Enterprise Network Swindon and Wiltshire, meant Andrew was able to quickly realise his dream, without incurring unnecessary borrowing risk and allowing him to take on expert brewer Jon Pilling.
“The Rural Economy Grant made a huge difference to the speed with which I could set up the business.” said Andrew. “I have nothing but praise for the team at Wiltshire Council for their support, alongside the free business advice I received from Dee Temple-Multon at the Wiltshire Business Support Service.
“I was certain there was a market for locally-brewed ales, and wanted to get going quickly after finding the ideal base at the West Wiltshire Trading Estate in Westbury. I realised we ticked the boxes for the grant and we were delighted to receive it.”
Twisted Brewing currently produces four ales, all with different characters, reflected in their names: Pirate, Gaucho, Conscript and Rider. They are sold across the local area, to free-houses and through pub company outlets including Enterprise and Wetherspoons, as far as Bristol and Bath. The brews are all taste tested and quality accredited through the Cyclops system.
Andrew, who travelled around the world with the Navy, Army & Air Force Institutes (NAAFI) before settling in Wiltshire, is loving owning and running his own rural business, and was delighted when veteran brewer Jon joined the Twisted Brewing team in April this year.
“It’s a huge success – we are experiencing month on month growth and we’re on track to hit capacity, then we will reinvest in the business to buy additional equipment to expand our range.”
Small rural Wiltshire businesses have shared more than £700,000 in Defra Rural Economy Grants to help entrepreneurs launch and expand their businesses.
Julian Head from Wiltshire Council, which administered the Rural Economy Grants fund in Wiltshire for Defra, said: “This particular scheme has now closed for new applications but we’re hoping to start offering similar rural economy grants through the LEADER and the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership’s European programmes from 2015. In the meantime, businesses looking for grants should contact the Wiltshire Business Support Service, part of The Enterprise Network.”
Rural Economy Grants are funded by the Rural Development Programme England 2007 – 2013 (RDPE) through the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development. They are administered by Wiltshire Council working with Defra. The grants were promoted by Wiltshire Council, The Enterprise Network and Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership.
Pictured above: Twisted Brewing’s owner Andrew Murray (right) and head brewer, Jon Pilling (left).