Loan helps micro brewery to launch new range of ales

An award-winning North Yorkshire micro brewery is set to expand its range of real ales and its distribution network with the help a £200,000 loan from NPIF – Mercia Debt Finance, which is managed by Mercia and part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund.

The funding will help Wold Top Brewery to develop new distribution channels, and launch a number of new beers. The brewery, which was founded in 2003 by husband and wife Tom and Gill Mellor in a converted barn on their family farm, produces ales based on traditional recipes using home-grown barley and water from the farm’s own borehole.

Its award-winning range, which includes Wold Top Bitter and the gluten-free beer Against the Grain, can be found in bars and independent stores throughout the North and in supermarkets nationwide, with around 20 per cent of products going to export markets.

The brewery also makes the ‘wash’ used to create the county’s first whisky which is produced by Tom and Gill’s latest venture, the Spirit of Yorkshire distillery in nearby Humanby.

Wold Top Brewery now employs around 15 people including the couple’s daughter and son-in-law Kate and Alex Balchin. The funding will allow it to take on two new staff including a full-time sales manager.

Tom Mellor said: “Our aim is to become a sustainable business in every sense of the word – from using locally-grown ingredients and minimising our impact on the environment to the way we run the business. This funding will provide us with the working capital we need to pursue our plans and continue to grow and develop the business.”

Ian Atkinson, Investment Manager with Mercia, said: “Tom and Gill are not only pioneering a more sustainable approach to brewing but also creating high-quality products that build on Yorkshire’s reputation for fine food and drink. It is great to be able to support them with their growth plans.”

Grant Peggie, Director at the British Business Bank, said: “Since its launch in 2017, NPIF’s impact on businesses has been wide-ranging, providing funding to launch new products, employ new staff, enter new markets and acquire new facilities. We are pleased that NPIF is continuing to unlock the North’s growth potential by supporting small growing businesses with vital investment.”

The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.