Stonehouse Brewery, which is moving into a £200,000, purpose-built home at Weston Lane on the outskirts of Oswestry, is celebrating again after Punch Taverns placed a six-week order for Station Bitter for their 800 pubs.
The brewery recently won the Society Of Independent Brewers National Standard Bitter 2013 Award with Station Bitter, which has led to a noticeable increase in the number of orders from local outlets.
“We have already supplied Punch with 150, nine gallon casks, in the last two weeks and have to up that supply to 200 a week over the next six,” said Alison Parr, who runs the business with her husband Shane.
“It is a fantastic opportunity,” said Mrs Parr. “We hope to raise the profile of our beer and that of Oswestry in general. Hopefully Punch customers will like Station Bitter and the order will become a regular one.
“Luckily our new premises was ready for us to move into and we have been able to bring in extra staff to help us build up stocks. But this order will really stretch our resources and, although we will cope in the short term, we will need to reassess the situation if the order becomes permanent.
“We already needed the additional space because of a growing order book but now have the capacity to cope with additional orders and can bring in more tanks when we need them. If
Punch customers are impressed with Station Bitter, and we think they will be, it will mean more jobs for Oswestry.”
The order has meant staff at Stonehouse have been working late to meet demands.
The firm currently has eight staff working alongside the Parrs.
Despite falling beer sales across the country Stonehouse owners are confident there is still a market for real ales.
“While beer sales have been falling for several years the demand for real ale is still there and has not been affected as much,” said Mrs Parr.
Stonehouse Brewery was awarded £32,000 from Shropshire Council’s Market Towns Revitalisation Programme and a £4,000 Business & Enterprise grant to help fund their expansion plans.