Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 6°C

min temp: 6°C

Search

Suffolk/ Essex: Growler Brewery saved as Nethergate founder leads buy-back consortium

09:08 15 April 2014

Nethergate founder Dick Burge with a glass of Old Growler at a celebration last year marking the beer's 25th anniversary.

Nethergate founder Dick Burge with a glass of Old Growler at a celebration last year marking the beer's 25th anniversary.

Archant

A Suffolk brewer has said he feels like he is coming home after stepping in to save the struggling brewery he founded almost 30 years ago.

Dick Burge has led a consortium to buy back the Growler Brewery, based in Pentlow, Essex, which he originally established as Nethergate in 1986.

The award-winning brewery was put up for sale in March having only been taken over by its current management in 2010, who went about rebranding Nethergate as Growler – its most popular beer.

However, Mr Burge said he wants to bring the company back to its Nethergate roots and renew focus on its core business.

“We’re going to use the Nethergate name much more than the Growler,” said Mr Burge from the brewer’s base yesterday.

“I’ve spoken to our customers today, about 20 customers, and they all say that Nethergate works better. We want to go back to our core business, which is supplying freehouses within our area, which is probably anywhere within 60 or 70 miles.

“It feels like a homecoming, in a way. I’ve always felt emotionally involved in Nethergate as a brand, and I did not want to see it die.”

Mr Burge originally set the business up in Clare, with it moving the short distance to its current site on the Essex/Suffolk border in 2005.

It currently employs 12 people and has an annual turnover approaching £2million.

There were concerns that the recently opened Waggon and Horses pub in nearby Sudbury was in jeopardy having been widely portrayed as a Growler Brewery pub.

However, Mr Burge insisted it was owned by a private individual rather than the brewery, and had never been in the hands of McTear Williams & Wood, which was handling Growler’s sale.

He added: “It is owned by an individual who will still regard it as a Nethergate pub.

“He is very much convinced it should remain as a brewer’s tap – the pub has done very well anyway so far, selling products from Growler Brewery.”

Growler was voted brewery of the year in 2012 by the Good Pub Guide, and has also scooped the Campaign for Real Ale’s national Champion Winter Beer title on two occasions.

2 comments

  • Wasn't it just last year that the brewery reportedly 'saved' the Waggon and Horses and now the brewery has had to be saved itself! Best of luck to the new owners though and I'm sure they will do a much better job than the muppets who were running it previously

    Report this comment

    SSB

    Wednesday, April 16, 2014

  • Excellent news. I hope whoever made the bonkers decision to change from the well-known and respected Nethergate name lost plenty of his own money on this. Maybe Dick could persuade Ian Hornsey to come out of retirement to brew a celebration beer?

    Report this comment

    beerlover

    Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Police are searching for a man in a car who approached a nine-year-old girl in Stowmarket.

The Buttermarket Shopping Centre first opened on October 1, 1992 - a modern, glass fronted shopping centre with a green-theme.

More details have been unveiled for this year’s Raising the Bar Awards – with people across Suffolk being urged to get involved to celebrate those striving for excellence in education.

A leisure centre has reopened today following a closure of more than two months due to the discovery of the Legionella bacteria.

Parents have criticised the decision of an Ipswich school to go-ahead with a trip to a theme park despite the threat of an amber weather warning after claims a tree fell onto a slide the children were playing on.

Ipswich’s first drive-through Starbucks will open tomorrow with a special ribbon-cutting ceremony by mayor Roger Fern.

Community leaders at two east Suffolk district councils which are set to merge to save money are raising their tax by just over 3% in April.

Two former Ipswich Town FC players say the dangers of heading in football have been blown out of proportion and that it would ruin the sport if any changes to the game were made.

A driver clocked doing 129mph on the A14 has been banned for six months.

Council and highways authority officials insisted that better warnings and other preparations eased the pressure on roads around Ipswich after the closure of Orwell Bridge yesterday.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24