Gateshead-based Real Ale Brewer Receives £100,000 Investment for Growth

Paul Minnikin (centre), director and team at Great North Eastern Brewing Company

The Great North Eastern Brewing Company, a real ale brewer based in Gateshead, is poised for expansion following a £100,000 investment from Business Enterprise Fund (BEF).

Established in September 2015, The Great North Eastern Brewing Company specializes in brewing real ale, which it supplies to pubs, clubs, and hotels in the north east and beyond. The company also sells directly to consumers through its brewery shop in Dunston and its website.

Led by Paul Minnikin, the sole director and 100% shareholder, The Great North Eastern Brewing Company employs a team of seven individuals who deliver over 6,000 liters of ale per week to more than 400 customers. The business has come a long way since its launch, thanks to an initial Start Up Loan provided by Doug Heseltine, an investment manager at BEF.

The Start Up Loan provided Paul with the necessary working capital to realize his dream and establish a presence in the brewing industry. This initial loan was the first in a series of investments that have supported the growth of this ambitious Tyneside business. Subsequent loans facilitated the acquisition of bottling and canning machinery, enabling the company to expand its product range and enter new markets.

During the challenging period of the Coronavirus pandemic, additional support from BEF helped the business navigate the impact on the hospitality sector, one of the hardest-hit industries. This support played a vital role in preserving jobs while the company adapted its offering and generated revenue through alternative channels.

With a recent investment of £100,000, The Great North Eastern Brewing is now positioned for growth in the volume supply market. The funds will be used as working capital to expand sales to hospitality businesses in Edinburgh, York, and the Lake District. The company has also secured a spot on the suppliers list of a leading high street pub chain. Furthermore, the expansion will involve providing canning, kegging, and bottling services to other local breweries.

This latest investment is expected to lead to further job creation, and the company anticipates a 50% increase in turnover. Paul Minnikin, director of The Great North Eastern Brewing, expressed his gratitude towards Doug Heseltine and BEF, stating that the business would not be where it is today without their help. He looks forward to continued growth and credits BEF for their support.

Doug Heseltine, Senior Investment Manager at BEF, commented on the long-standing relationship with Paul and The Great North Eastern Brewing Company, expressing his satisfaction in witnessing the success of one of his first clients. He commended Paul’s consistent achievements with each round of funding and extended his best wishes for continued growth and prosperity.

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