The Crafty Brewing Company has acquired Guildford-based brewery, The Little Beer Corporation (LBC).
Crafty Brewing, a microbrewery based in Dunsfold, Surrey, was established in 2014, and its flagship beers include Dunsfold Best, Hop Tipple IPA and Laughing Wolf. The company started out with a single 100-litre brewing vessel and it has grown over the years to become a business that serves more than 260 venues and retailers across Surrey, East and West Sussex, Hampshire and London.
LBC was set up 10 years ago by local entrepreneur, Jim Taylor. The acquisition sees Crafty Brewing take over LBC’s lease, acquire its assets and continue employment for all LBC staff members.
The purchase will also allow The Crafty Brewing Co to double its brewing capacity to 40,000 litres of beer per month. Founder and head brewer, Luke Herman, said: “This is a milestone for us and, we believe, for Guildford. The Friary Mieux brewery closed in 1969 (now the site of the Friary Shopping Centre) so Little Beer was the city’s last remaining brewer. We are thrilled to take on the mantle of rejuvenating Guildford’s proud brewing tradition. We shall start immediately.”
Looking ahead, The Crafty Brewing Co will redevelop its original brewhouse to create a new 4,000 sq ft brewery with a capacity of 100,000 litres per month. The expanded brewery is being built at Thatched House Farm near Dunsfold in the Surrey Hills.
Andrew McMorran, The Crafty Brewing Co’s chief executive office, said: “We owe our success to the loyalty of our customers in Surrey but with demand now coming from national restaurant groups, hotels and theatres we need this extra capacity in Guildford to produce more beer. We launched an apprenticeship scheme with Godalming College in February so now we have the capacity ti increase production we can recruit more local people to make, sell and deliver to new customers.”
Taylor at LBC said: “We closed Little Beer with a heavy heart. However our extraordinary beers and our former shareholders will be in excellent hands with The Crafty Beer Co and I look forward to seeing Crafty Brewing go from strength to strength.”