17 May 2021

We want to build a beer garden! And we need your help!
Over lockdown, we spent some time clearing our outside storage, and as we did, an idea emerged... The space is much bigger than it looked, and we think we have room to create a wonderful beer garden space to host people, events and pour a pint or two!
BUT, we need your help. With lockdown and very little pub sales for six months, we don't have the funds for the project on our own, so are crowdfunding to raise the money.
And we're not asking for money for nothing! We have some incredible rewards for yourself, or someone you know (we think they could be the ultimate Father's Day gift!)
Please take a look, share with anyone and everyone you think might be interested in supporting us, and contribute if you can.
We are so excited for all that this could be, and can't wait to share it with you.
Team EVB Xx
You guys have been so amazingly supportive so far - it is overwhelming and we want to say we are so grateful.
And you have also been asking some great questions, and we thought it was a good idea to share the answers in case people have the same ones. (These have also been added to the Crowdfunding page, and as new ones come up, we'll keep it updated!)
If you have any questions you don't see below, please do let us know, or there is anythign you want to discuss - please do give us a call and get in touch!
*Isn’t it odd to crowdfund for a business?*
We agree, it is definitely unusual, but then, this has been a very unusual 12 months….! We bought the brewery with our eyes wide open to the risks and uncertainty of the times, but we had hoped that the new year would be “back to normal” and allow us to pick up trade. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case so we’ve been doing our best, operating on direct sales and limited trade sales for the first six months without any industry specific support from the government. We are so proud to have survived so far, and kept the brewery going – but we’ve only managed that through investing all of our remaining savings, and by not taking a salary (between both of us we’re working four other jobs to pay the bills!) We didn’t want to present a sad story as part of the Crowdfunder, and embraced a positive outlook that focused on the opportunity, but it is fair to say that for us to keep the brewery viable, we need to both increase and diversify our revenue. We could look to scale our brewing or bottling by buying new kit or equipment, but this would cost hundreds of thousands of pounds. Instead, tapping into the tourism/experiences potential represents a real opportunity that is achievable without huge capital injections. However, even smaller projects like a beer garden take investment, and given we are only just covering our costs, we need some help. However, we feel strongly that we don’t want money for nothing and have worked really hard to develop a whole range of amazing rewards in return for people’s investment in the brewery that we believe offer great value to all beer lovers.
*Why a beer garden?*
A taproom is a common way to develop and grow a brewery, but we actually don’t have a lot of spare space in our converted dairy barn! The only space we had was our storage area at the back, and after our landlord very kindly let us clear it, we think it has huge potential. It will obviously be seasonal and a bit weather dependent, but we think we can make it a huge asset to the brewery, and also the wider community.
*Aren’t you competing with pubs?*
In short, no – that’s not our intention and we don’t think it will be the case. We deeply love and support the Great British pub, and have been vocal advocates and supporters of the hospitality industry, especially rural pubs, throughout lockdowns having written to MP’s, financially contributed to hospitality funds and attended hospitality demonstrations. Just as whisky distilleries in Scotland offer a different experience to a local Highland pub, a brewery tasting experience is very different to a pint at your local. We do want to use the space in lots of different ways, to make the most out of it whether that be parties or events, but our aim is to create something that adds to the community, not detracts or competes.
*Why now?*
We’ve been thinking hard about how to keep the brewery running and profitable over the summer, and think the beer garden/ taproom would be a great start. To get the garden ready for July, we need to raise the money, and do the work which is about 6-8 week process. It’s been a pretty tight turnaround, working quickly with lots of late nights drafting out the rewards and crunching the numbers, but we made it! There’s a good chance the plans aren’t yet perfect, and will need some further work, but we’re giving it our best shot.
*When will it open?*
We are hoping to have it up and running in early July, but as with everything at the moment, it will have to be flexible depending on how the circumstances change and develop.
*What will the hours be?*
We haven’t completely confirmed this yet, as it is dependent on a few other factors, but we would imagine we’d start with limited weekend afternoon openings ( something like 12pm – 4pm) with the occasional evening opening (say till 8pm) if we had an event. After 15 years working late nights, Kevin doesn’t want to go back to that so that is not part of the plan!
*Do you have parking organised?*
For anyone who knows the brewery, parking will be a challenge. We are looking at a range of options, but in the meantime, it is likely that to start with parking will be “by appointment”, so we can book in only the cars we have space for.
Team EVB Xx