Lincoln Green Brewing Company Limited
Lincoln Green Brewing Company Limited started trading in Hucknall, Nottingham in May 2012, taking its name from the colour of dyed woollen cloth associated with the legend of Robin Hood.
With a retailing background and a keen interest in home brewing, Anthony began creating the recipes of the core range for Lincoln Green in the garage of his home in Mapperley, Nottingham.
The Brewlab ‘start up brewing’ course in August 2011 was an opportunity to decide whether or not it was worth the risk to step into the commercial world of brewing. The course provided a ‘warts’ (should that be ‘worts’?!) and all view of the industry and after the first day, it’s safe to say that Anthony felt that anyone would be mad to invest the sums of money required to set up a microbrewery. Further market research however indicated that the real ale section of the drinks industry was showing strong signs of growth, creating a very real business opportunity.
The marketing section of the course was particularly memorable, with Piero Alberici providing some clear examples of how to successfully promote a microbrewery. In a world where choice is abundant, strong branding, imagery and links to local community are all vital in ensuring that your product stands out from the crowd.
Whilst the outline of the business plan was already in place prior to attending Brewlab, the course provided many valuable sources of further information, helped clarify the legal requirements of a start-up brewery and gave an understanding of the complex world of excise duty.
The plan was finally in place by the end of October 2011 and remaining finances were secured by January 2012. Lincoln Green Brewing Company Limited is a 10bbl plant with capacity to brew 5,800 pints per week. Premises were secured in Hucknall, Nottingham, where Ashfield District Council provided further funding through their enterprise grant programme.
On-going consultancy from course tutor Michael Hitchen has provided much needed support and advice throughout the start-up and day to day operation of the business.
Lincoln Green Brewing Company produces a range of four core beers, all named with a respectful nod towards Nottinghamshire’s legendary hero: Hood (Best Bitter 4.2%), Marion (Pale Ale 3.8%), Archer (American Pale Ale 4.0%) and Tuck (Porter 4.7%). A range of occasional rotating beers and seasonal specials has also been developed, together with a premium craft range under the name ‘Blackshale’, which takes its name from the coal seam running beneath the brewery. The core range is also contract bottled and sold regionally through 46 Nottinghamshire based ‘Co-op’ supermarkets and 2 local Majestic Wine Warehouses.
The brewery has won several significant awards for its beers – Marion was a finalist in the 2016 Champion Beer of Britain awards, whilst Tuck is a finalist in the 2018 awards. Archer has won 4 SIBA (Society of Independent Brewer’s) awards and Little Joh won Gold in the National SIBA awards for its category in 2016.
Throughout 2017, Lincoln Green worked with Alison Hedley, Laboratory Manager at Brewlab, to develop microbial skills that would see the start-up of a small laboratory. In 2018 the brewery plans to purchase an autoclave that will see it begin to cultivate its own yeast strain.
In 2014, Lincoln Green partnered with Everards Brewery in Leicester in their ‘Project William’ scheme – Everards purchase a closed, often derelict pub and refurbish it to the micro-brewers specification and lease it to them on a partial tie basis with cask ale being free of tie to the tenant. The Robin Hood (AND) Little John in Arnold was born as Lincoln Green’s first pub and since then 4 more have followed – 2 more ‘Project William’ sites a Star Pubs and Bars tenancy and a private tenancy which is completely free of tie, tenancy. The Lincoln Green Public House Company has a vision to continue to grow to up to 20 sites over the next 10 years enabling the brewery to become completely self-sufficient on its own estate.