Brewery near Horsham launches major new investment in craft beer canning

A major investment programme has been unveiled by a leading brewery near Horsham to enable it to launch new canned craft beers.

Hepworth & Company, based in Adversane, is to install a new canning line with a capacity of producing 30,000 cans per hour and is expected to go live next month.

It is also introducing a number of environmental measures which, it says, will help it reach its 85 per cent carbon neutral target by 2025.

The investment programme is being led by brewery founder and managing director Andy Hepworth who is stepping down from day-to-day operations to become chairman, guiding new projects.

Andy Hepworth

Ed Wray, who has been with Hepworth's for three years as assistant head brewer, moves up to the head brewer role.

The new canned beers will, says Hepworth’s, complement its existing range of cask, keg, and bottled beers.

The company says it will also offer a quality canning service to other brewers, to make use of the capacity offered by the new line.

Andy Hepworth said: "Our limited experience of canning beers has been something of a mixed bag, which most brewers who have explored canning will relate to - so many brewers we have spoken to have a horror story to tell about outsourced canning.

"Given our many years of successful contract bottling, the logical move was to bring canning in house, which gives us complete control over the quality of our canned beers and means we can go to our contract customers with a new service.

"The thirst for canned beers looks set to continue growing so we're confident there will be demand from brewers who know Hepworth's as a trusted contractor."

Meanwhile, Hepworth’s says it has ‘big plans to continue blazing a trail for sustainable brewing’ with a CO2 reclaim project set to be installed this autumn.

This follows a string of sustainability measures implemented by Hepworth's since opening its purpose-built brewery near Horsham in 2016.

In 2019, Hepworth's created the world's first beer source heat pump, using the heat from fermenting beer to heat the boiler that starts the brewing process. The brewery also reconditions wastewater through reed beds, purifies waste in an anaerobic digester and uses heat from beer chillers to heat the brewery offices and visitor centre.

Andy said: "Sustainability has driven the way we do business at Hepworth's since the start.

"We have always looked to source our barley and hops locally, to minimise our food miles, and since moving to our current site we have put in place a number of measures to make us an increasingly sustainable business.

"By any measure, we are now one of the most sustainable brewers in the UK, but we are continuing to look for new ways to reduce our carbon footprint even further.

"We are aiming for 85 per cent carbon neutral status by 2025 - 100 per cent is simply not achievable within that time frame, but we will get there.

"I am personally excited about becoming the company's full-time sustainability champion and passing the day-to-day running of the brewing operation over to the very capable hands of Ed."