A new name and a new home for Bedford beer firm Charles Wells

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One of the most famous names in Bedford is no more, as Charles Wells has adopted a new monicker to go with its out-of-town home.

The family-owned firm has rebranded itself as Wells & Co, 143 years after being founded by Charles Wells himself.

Bosses say that, with the company moving to a new base, and with a growing number of managed pubs, the new name is “reflective of the changing needs of the next generation of customers”.

Company chief executive Justin Phillimore said: “After 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.”

Also this week the firm has started work on Brewpoint, a new company HQ on the outskirts of Bedford, where the A6 meets the northern Bedford bypass.

It will have the capacity to make 30,000 hectolitres of beer each year - equivalent to five million pints.

It will also be home to a pub-restaurant, a retail shop, a coffee roastery, company offices, and a visitor centre, all “focused around the creation of exceptional beer”. It is due to open in early summer 2020, employing 85 people.

The old brewery in Havelock Street was sold in 2017.

Commerical director Peter Wells added: “Our family and Bedfordshire heritage remains a key part of our DNA and a credit to what the business has achieved so far.

“This is such an exciting time for myself and the team, watching this fabulous new site grow over the coming months as we eagerly anticipate opening in summer next year.”