Supplying the brewing, food and beverage industry.

BFBi Member Tour of Wye Valley Brewery and New Bottling/Canning Line

wye valley

Thanks go to Vernon Amor and Gareth Bateman for hosting a BFBi member tour of Wye Valley Brewery.

Founded in 1985 by Peter Amor, the now 3rd generation family brewery sits on a 9 acre site producing 53,000 brewers barrels a year.  80% of production is cask, bucking the current trend and showing sustained growth.  The remainder of production is split 15%, by volume, to bottles and 5% (but growing) to keg.

With no external shareholders the family invests any profits back into developing a sustainable brewery.  Wye Valley’s first bottling line was installed in 2009 – a 2,800 x 500ml bottle/hour line, packed and palleted by hand.  Lockdown saw a dramatic increase in smallpack production and the brewery realised the need to investigate a new bottling machine, together with increasing capacity in conditioning and cooling.

Installed in 2022, the new bottling supplied by Enterprise Tondelli, has a capacity of 7,000 500ml bottles/hour.  A canning line (3,000 330ml cans/hour) runs alongside and a move away from plastic has seen investment in wrap around cartons.  A move towards a more automated packing and palletising process completed the packaging investment.  Asked why the brewery had moved to a more expensive cartoning process, Vernon Amor noted that, with 95% of their bottled beer going to off-trade, at some point there would be a requirement for the removal of shrink wrap and wrap around cartons also gave the brewery extra flex within small and large pack capacity

Other investments included an upgrade to an IGC 6T CO2 tank (including a move to biogas in order to reduce supply risk and, again improve Wye Valley’s environmental footprint).

The current 80bbl brewhouse was installed in 2013, a thermal fluid heating system replaces the need for steam and solar panels and heat recovery from the copper (6,000 litres per boil – used for cask washing) help reduce the carbon footprint of the brewery.

The smallpack line investment came to around £3.5million, including building works, equipment and installation but, with an estimated 40-50% production growth over the next 10 years further investment is being investigated, including a new brewhouse and visitor centre.

Wye Valley Brewery has grown and invested quietly but substantially since 1985 and will continue to do so over the next 10 years.  We all look forward to having a pint in the new visitor centre!

Picture of Ruth Evans

Ruth Evans

Leave a Reply

Create An Account

Create a subscriber account today.
*subject to terms and conditions.

Recent Posts

Follow Us

Weekly Tutorial