A BOURNEMOUTH brewery is expected to supply nearly 5,000 pubs, bars and other venues next year after a deal was struck.
As recently as October, there had been fears that Poole Hill Brewery in Bournemouth town centre would be forced to shut after seeing its bills and business rates rise.
However, bosses at the home of Southbourne Ales and Tingays have announced they are to become a supplier for one of the UK’s largest pub companies, Stonegate Group.
In a deal starting in February, the family-run business founded in 2016 will supply its real ales to Stonegate’s 4,800 pubs and bars.
Jennifer Tingay, chief executive and head brewer of Poole Hill Brewery, said the deal was a “huge achievement” describing her business as a “tiny fish in a great big pond”.
She said: “We are thrilled to have secured this deal with the Stonegate Group, which demanded the successful completion of a long and complex quality control process, and which stands as a recognition of the quality and appeal of our ales.
“We are looking forward to reaching a wider audience, and to sharing our passion for brewing with them.
“We are also very grateful to our loyal and supportive customers who have been visiting our taproom in larger numbers for the last two months.
“We have seen more of our crowdfunders visit the taproom as well, as it does appear to have served as a call to arms, for those who wish the business well.”
Money from the deal won’t be seen by the brewery until April and in the meantime, Jennifer is hoping loyal customers will support them.
Staff will need to be hired in the new year as part of the investment in the company as there will be an extra workload.
Co-founder Sheldon Young added: “This deal is great news for the brewery as it replaces two long-standing cask distribution mechanisms we enjoyed prior to the lockdowns, which ceased to exist during that time and have never returned.
“Approval to supply the Stonegate Group replaces these and will allow us over time to increase production and move back in the direction of our original business goals instead of just surviving.
“The taproom has kept us going, but it was never meant to amount to more than about 10 per cent of turnover.”
In October, bosses feared an uncertain future after electricity bills rose from £600 per month in December 2022 to £2,800 a month.
On top of that, its business rates are to increase from £4,179 to £15,818 per year – numbers which Jennifer said are “unjust” as sales did not increase to compensate.
She added: “Increased taproom turnover has most definitely helped us to get this far, so thanks to all who have visited and shown their support.
“Please keep it up, as there’s something tangible to fight for now beyond just the survival of the business for the time being.
“Hopefully 2024 will be a brighter place for everyone.”