An expanding Devon brewery has been able to save time and money after calling in the expertise of South West Water Business.

South Hams Brewery, an award-winning craft brewery, located adjacent to Slapton Ley, is in the process of completing a large expansion project which would allow it to significantly increase the amount of beer it produces. Already, in the last five years, production at the brewery has risen from 4,000 litres per week to 22,000 litres per week. Their new base, which will include an investment in brewing equipment, will give the family-owned business the capacity to produce up to 60,000 litres a week.
L - R, Sam Brooking, Nigel Ponsford

Water retailer South West Water Business was originally called out to the site, at Stokeley Farm, near Kingsbridge, to offer advice about the disposal of trade effluent. After making some helpful suggestions, SWWB was asked to assist with some difficulties the brewery was having in getting a waste water connection installed and working so that it met all the correct regulations.

This process involved identifying and sourcing the correct equipment, including an underground balance tank, sampling chamber, pumping chamber and waste meter, which SWWB procured at a considerable cost saving. Further savings of around £10,000 were achieved by changing the project’s specification to a smaller discharge pipe - saving money on the pipework, installation and waste mater costs. The family’s farm is near the Slapton Ley nature reserve, a Site of Special Scientific Interest, and the scheme involved diverting pipework so that a neighbouring wildlife meadow was not disturbed.

Managing director Sam Brooking said: “Working with SWWB has saved us money on the installation of new equipment. We wouldn’t have known where to get it, so knowing that experts would do it for us, using the right people, gave us peace of mind. I was very impressed with the commitment of SWWB’s team to helping us and to solving problems – they’ve saved us thousands of pounds.”

The brewery produces a total of 12 beers including the exceedingly popular Wild Blonde and Eddystone, and recently picked up another Food & Drink Devon Gold award for a new limited edition, whisky tinged ale - Corryvreckan. It mainly makes draught products – although about 10 per cent of its output is bottled beers. As well as increasing production, the brewery’s expansion will see it hosting more music and food events from the site.

SWWB key account manager Nigel Ponsford said: “Sam and the rest of the team at the brewery have had a busy and successful summer. They had been given incorrect information about what they were required to do with discharge rates and pipe sizes and needed some help to sort things out so that they could get on with what they do best – making great beer. It’s a bonus that we were able to save them some money too.”