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Duration Brewing at West Acre expand with more staff and new equipment is installed





West Acre's Duration Brewing has seen an upturn in online business since Covid-19 which has led it to expand by taking on more staff and installing new equipment to meet growing demand.

The company has scaled to grow in 2021, expanding both its clean and wild production cellar capacity by 40 per cent after using lockdown to increase their online reach.

Last week, three new tanks were installed at Duration Brewing's award-winning farmhouse brewery. There is also a new bottling line on order for the barrel store to start releasing mixed fermentation slow beers by Christmas.

Derek Bates and Miranda Hudson at their West Acre site (42354063)
Derek Bates and Miranda Hudson at their West Acre site (42354063)

Miranda Hudson, co-founder said: "One of the upswings of this year is people want to support local and shop independently. First, we saw that via our own online web shop, then with beer shops selling off licence, and now we are seeing it in our local trade accounts that can open safely.

"We expect a swathe of redundancies too, but our customers prefer to treat themselves to an occasional good quality beer over-drinking to oblivion on the mass-produced stuff."

In March, the founder-led business had only just opened after a year-long fit-out and employed just one other in the team alongside the two managing directors Derek Bates, head brewer, and Miranda Hudson, responsible for sales and marketing.

The brewery at West Acre has had new tanks installed (42354059)
The brewery at West Acre has had new tanks installed (42354059)

Too small to benefit from furlough, the pair expanded to six core staff and four remote freelancers while rounding up funds to expand to meet demand with increased range and volume.

Derek Bates said: "It's been a choppy ride adjusting to fast-moving trends and market closures but all the while we've kept our heads and made the beers we love. Thankfully we installed a start to finish high-end brewhouse and canning line and adding to the cellar is happening a little sooner than planned.

"A bold move in these circumstances, but having made it this far we figure the only way forwards is onwards and upwards."

New equipment has been installed at the West Acre brewery (42354065)
New equipment has been installed at the West Acre brewery (42354065)

The destination brewery in a converted ancient barn opens a brewery kiosk each Friday and Saturday with kerbside beer and pizza for the curious and inquisitive. Further afield customers can enjoy virtual founder-led tasting experiences via webcast events with seamless online ordering and next working day delivery.

Miranda said: "Winning Best Beer and Best Brewery for Norfolk and coming in the top 10 best new breweries in the world (according to Ratebeer) was a huge deal for people’s confidence in us. We adopted a grow or perish policy and ramped up what was already in the master plan and could not feel more supported and spurred on by our customers both locally and across the UK beer-loving public."



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