Plan for new brewery site in Bedford gets the green light

Charles Wells Night Shot Higher Res
Charles Wells Night Shot Higher Res

Plans for a £13million brewery on the edge of Bedford have been given the green light by counc il chiefs.

Bedford Borough Council’s planning committee have approved Charles Wells’s plans to build a new complex at the Fairhill site, just off the A6.

Work is expected to begin in August, with the brewery due to be be operational by next 2019.

Peter Wells, commercial director at Charles Wells, said: “As well as producing our heritage beers, Charlie Wells and John Bull, this new brewery will allow us to meet the changing tastes of the nation’s beer drinkers, by developing a new range of beers in a smaller, more artisanal brewing environment than our previous facility.

“We’ve listened to our pub partners and loyal customers, and introduced initiatives such as The Wandering Brewer project, which sees our head brewer collaborating with some of the most innovative young brewers around the country. This new facility will enable us to be more agile, producing beers that customers in our 200-plus pubs want to explore and drink.”

The scheme was first revealed by the T&C in March.

Charles Wells’s plans for the site include a new 30,000-hectolitre brewery, a visitor centre for brewery tours, and an onsite pub, and a venue for music, events and functions.

The pitch could also include a hotel, plus a five-acre multi-activity centre called Adrenalin World, run by leisure firm David Lloyd.

Charles Wells has been crafting ales in Bedford as a family brewery since 1876.

The firm sold its brewery on Havelock Street and most of its brands to Marston’s 12 months ago, but retained its Charlie Wells and John Bull beer brands.