Pub group Charles Wells is set to change its name to Wells & Co in a move that coincides with the start of construction of its new home in Bedford.
It said the new moniker reflects its strategy to meet the changing needs of the next generation of customers through the creation of the new HQ and a growing investment in its managed pub estate.
Chief executive Justin Phillimore elaborated: “After 142 years and five generations of family involvement, we have not embarked on this lightly, but we feel it embodies the change of direction we have taken as a business.
“This includes the significant investment we are making in our pubs and the creation of a beautifully designed new home capable of producing a range of beer styles that we would not have dreamed of ten years ago. It is a statement of confidence about our future direction as a company.”
Work started last week on Brewpoint, a new company home, housing a pub-restaurant, a retail shop, a coffee roastery, company offices and a visitor centre, focused around the creation of exceptional beer. It is due to open in early summer 2020.
Brewpoint’s brewing capability will be highly flexible, enabling the creation of a huge range of beer styles. It will have the capacity to make 30,000 hectolitres of beer each year, equivalent to five million pints.
Over the last couple of years, the business has been creating collaboration brews every month with some of the UK’s finest smaller breweries.
The resulting beer sold under the Wandering Brewer name has been poured in Wells & Co. pubs since October 2017. In summer 2020 Brewpoint will start brewing, selecting the most popular of the Wandering Brewer beers to brew, alongside its existing Charlie Wells Dry Hop Lager and Triple Hop IPA beers. The majority of the beer brewed will go to pubs within the company’s own estate.
The site has been designed with sustainability in mind with solar cells on the roof, solar shading, air source heating and cooling alongside a highly efficient modern brewing plant. The car park will incorporate nine car charging points.
When it opens next summer it will employ more than 85 people in the town as well as many more in pubs across the local area and France.