Leominster-based Swan Brewery has caught the judges’ attention at the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) Business & Industry Awards 2017 by being shortlisted in the Green Business category.
Their entry covered such topics as: passing on spent hops to a network of gardeners; linking with local food producers; cycling to visit suppliers and customers and working with local contractors and trades people.
With 1700 breweries in the UK, the SIBA awards are highly competitive. Swan Brewery made a 2000 word submission covering their energy reduction, minimising waste and their efforts relating to sustainability of communities where people live, and in which businesses operate.
Preparing the entry gave Jimmy Swan and Gill Bullock, the husband and wife partnership who run Swan Brewery, the chance to reflect on their first year of business. Jimmy commented, “An obvious green choice we make relates to our raw materials. The hops we brew with are mainly from Herefordshire and Worcestershire and we are receptive to and proactive in trying out new local varieties such as Instone grown by Simon Parker of Instone Court, Munderfield. This hop strain is believed to be a wilt-resistant Fuggles seedling, with a great deal of potential to reduce pesticide usage.”
Gill added, “We started out by buying a “preloved” brewery, and it was mainly Herefordshire contractors who helped us commission it. We work with local firms now for all kinds of supplies and services. We get involved with the local business community in a proactive way, through the Leominster Business Group and the Herefordshire and Worcester Chambers.”
One aspect of their submission Swan Brewery is sure won’t have featured elsewhere is the “chutneyathon” which they ran – a chutney making marathon with vegetables grown in spent-hop-enriched-soil and beer in the recipes.
The awards will be made on exactly the one-year anniversary of their first delivery of beer, on Thursday 16th March.