The expansion will also facilitate its new packaging requirements, the result of consumers’ changing purchasing patterns which saw the brewery switch its product mix to a greater focus on canned beer.
The investment includes the purchase of a new canning line giving the brewery greater control over its canning operations and schedule.
The investment will also result in the brewery gaining additional warehouse space, the addition of a new packaging area and a dedicated lab space for the brewing team. The new lab brings more capabilities in-house including yeast analysis, important for healthy and consistent fermentation and the ability for microbiological quality control testing.
“Last year saw a fundamental shift in how people were consuming our beer and we ‘d to adopt quickly,” explained Wim de Jongh, Hope Beer’s Co-Founder and Managing Director, “Prior to the pandemic up to 40% of our output was kegged for the on-trade, 40% was canned and the remaining 20% was bottled but with the closure of the hospitality sector canned beer now makes up 95% of our packaged beer.
“We were massively relieved when we ended-up being busy for most of 2020 as, at the start of pandemic, things were looking bad,” he continued, “We wouldn’t have predicted we’d be in the position of being able to expand our operations but here we are.”
In addition to the physical expansion, Hope is also growing its team of six with the recruitment of an assistant brewer and an assistant to the brewery.
The brewery recently signed a distribution contract with Noreast Drinks which sees its range of beers, including its core range, Limited Editions and Seasonals, more widely available across the entire island of Ireland.
Hope enjoys sales close to €1 million and exports to Italy, Russia, the Netherlands and France.