On a beautifully sunny May day I visited new member Renegade Brewery.
Originally founded in 1995 as the West Berkshire Brewery by the Maggs family, who set up a small brewery behind the well known local Pot Kiln pub. By 2000 the brewery had moved to their second site in Yattendon and, In 2015, David Bruce was appointed as Director and Chairman.
In December 2021, the Yattendon Group acquired the business, appointing Ian Rogers, founder of Wychwood Brewery and the iconic Hobgoblin brand, as its new managing director.
So, why the change of name to Renegade Brewery? Said Ian in a previous interview:
“Renegade Brewery, represented by our new ouroboros serpent logo, is the embodiment of eternal cyclic renewal and rebirth and represents the perfect metaphor for my connection and appointment to the company. The old West Berkshire Brewery was great at producing exceptional cask ale and premium bottled ales.
Beer today is at the vanguard of popular culture and is now more popular than ever with all its amazing complex styles. Renegade will celebrate its roots in traditional ale but will also be at the forefront of craft beer and over the next 12 months will introduce new beers that burst with aroma and flavour.”
As well as own brand products, the 50,000hl brewery provides contract brewing and packaging services with the ability to brew, bottle, can, keg and cask beer,ale and lager in 60hl -240hl batches. With its NPD facility, the brewing team can brew to recipe or develop a recipe to the customer’s needs (one month lead time).
Beer for co packing is preferred via tanker although Arlingtons can be accommodated. Rough beer can also be filtered, unfiltered or sterile filtered, according to requirements.
The 8 x 60hl FVs/4 x 60hl bright tanks; 12 x 120hl FVs and 4 x 240hl FVs/4 x 240hl bright tanks ensure the brewery has the ability to scale up as needed.
The brewery is both SALSA Beer+ and Soil Association accredited (for packaging of organic products).
The canning line operates at 12,000 x 330ml cans/hour, filling up to 250hl of beer on an average working day. 330ml/440ml or 500ml cans can be supplied pre-printed or blank with labels.
The bottling line accommodates 330ml & 500ml bottles and 5 litre Huber mini keg can also be filled.
Secondary packaging is available in a variety of formats – tray and fridge packs, including the use of reduced plastic shrink-wrap
In terms of large pack, Renegade fills a variety of formats including, but not limited to, 9G firkins and 18G kilderkins, offering C02 analysis on site as standard.
The large cold store is a relatively new addition and will be kept busy with the new sales team successfully growing Renegade’s own beer business via their ontrade (supplied by Renegade’s 3 drays), offtrade and online business streams.
I was introduced to Dave the Van (mobile bar with 4 keg; 2 cask taps and coffee machine) and popped into the very popular Taproom where I heard about new plans for the 12,000 acre site include the planting of barley and hops to showcase an integrated story to the visitor. The Taproom hosts a variety of events, including car rallies and comedy nights. If you are in the area a visit is essential!
Check out the gallery images here
Thank you to Chris Smart, Contracts Manager and Clare Candy, Marketing Manager of Renegade Brewery for their time and hospitality.