Often referred to as “the first craft beer bar in Britain”, Leeds North Bar is credited with influencing a new wave of craft beer bars and breweries around the country, with many citing North Bar as one of the original driving forces behind the craft beer revolution in the UK.
North Bar in Leeds quickly became renowned for its alternative approach, quirky style and excellent, friendly service – winning the prestigious ‘Best place to drink in Britain’ in the Observer Food Monthly Awards.
Over 20 years, owners John Gyngell & Christian Townsley have increased the North Bar group to a total of 7 venues and in 2015 they turned their 10-year dream of making their own beer into a reality by opening a 15bbl brewery in Leeds, North Brewing Co.
The opportunity for growth was there, with demand outstripping supply for their products. Christian says “Many say this is a great problem to have, but for us, delivering stock on time is crucial – We work hard to maintain our standards of service, and no one wants to let their customers down”
John Gyngell (L) and Christian Townsley (R)
Christian and John looked into what support was available to increase their investment potential, and found out about the AD:VENTURE programme, a European Regional Development Funded programme covering the Leeds City Region.
Christian says “I was delighted to announce we had been successful in our application for the grant of £21k. The application process was hard work but regular meetings with my advisor were invaluable and my experience of writing a thorough business plan as a part of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses programme equipped me for what was described to me by the Senior Economic Development Officer as ‘the best he’d seen in a long time’!
I’m sure there are similar programmes for growth business grants around the country. In addition to that, we’ve also been successful in our application for a grant of around £1200 towards acquiring ‘SALSA’, a food safety accreditation which will open up further opportunities to us whilst implementing further controls to ensure our QC
I couldn’t have done it without the support of my team, in particular my business partner, our FD and our Head Brewer. For anyone looking to grow their business and generate jobs it’s well worth investing time to research what funding is available”
Brewing capacity is now doubling in October 2017, adding several brewing vessels and enabling the brewery to meet current demand, with their beers are now widely available throughout the UK as well as being exported to eight European countries.
Driven by passion for great beer, this Leeds Brewery comes with an unparalleled wealth of experience, knowledge and existing industry relationships, both in the UK and abroad and their capacity for growth is as great as the worlds love for exceptional craft beer!