Brewdenell is a relatively new craft beer company owned by Jack Folland who produces his own beer at home. Currently the product is shared locally with family and friends however Jack would like to grow the business to include different beer flavours and also produce larger quantities for the food service market.
Jack wished to develop three new beer recipes by experimenting with various flavours and altering hop quantities. He also wanted to move from a small home kit to a larger brewing kit making 60 litres per batch as opposed to 20 litre batches.
Additionally, Jack needed help with licencing, product labelling, product descriptors and profiling. This business opportunity proved to be a challenge for Jack because everything was new to him therefore he needed to avail of up-skill training.
In order to overcome this obstacle, Jack made contact with North West Regional College (NWRC) Business Support Centre (BSC) who firstly supported him through the InnovateUs programme which is funded by the Department for Economy.
This provided 60 hours of 1:1 mentoring support from NWRC Foodovation Centre Manager Stella Graham who helped Jack develop skills in; new product design, upscaling, recipe development (numerous trails and tests of different ingredients were used to provide different flavours and was completed by using the Foodovation Centres micro-brewing facility), recipe standardisation, product labelling and shelf life assessment.
Stella also advised Jack on the licencing requirements for him to sell the beers. NWRC’s BSC also helped Jack apply for Derry City and Strabane District Council’s ‘Go for it’ programme which allowed him to run through his business plan.
On completion of the project, Jack developed three different craft beers and was approached by an upcoming nut company to develop a bespoke beer to match their product.
Testimonial from Jack discussing the benefits of working with the NWRC’S Foodovation Centre and InnovateUs programme:
‘’I would use the Colleges services again because they have the best kit for beer making and it was great for me to be able to use this and transfer my small scale skills to this type of production.
‘’The College provided a lot of support through the project and we developed our skills together. I have also registered on the Derry City and Strabane District Councils ‘Go for It’ programme and I am using that to run through my business plan and hope in the future to avail of the InvestNI Innovation Voucher through the college.
‘’The InnovateUs programme has also been really helpful because I’ve been able to upscale and learn the how to use the Braumeister kit. Additionally, I have learnt the importance of recipe standardisation and the impact of the upscaling process on the flavour delivered by the beer.
‘’I believe the programme was good value for money, it has helped me turn my ideas into a business, enabling me take the next step with my concepts.’’