PumpHouse Community Brewery.
The village of Toppesfield on the North Essex/Suffolk borders, is well known for its community owned businesses.
Following the closure of its last, privately owned shop in 2002, Toppesfield Community Stores was established as a community benefit society in new premises attached to the village hall.
Then, in 2012 Toppesfield became only the 14th community in the country to buy its ‘local’, the Green Man. Through a new community benefit society, Toppesfield Community Pub Limited was created with 156 shareholders and almost £280,000 was raised for the purchase.
Part of the Green Man premises comprised of an under-used barn. Some thought had already been given to utilising that space for a small brewery when, in early 2014 a nearby micro-brewery, located in Helions Bumpstead, was forced to close when the pub, in whose grounds it was based, shut permanently. The brewing equipment was put up for sale and it was felt by the Pumphouse management committee that this would provide a great opportunity to bring to fruition the thoughts of a brewery in Toppesfield.
We believed that the establishment of a micro-brewery on this site would strongly complement The Green Man by providing a regular supply of traditional ales at an attractive price. In addition the brewery would provide some employment and volunteering opportunities for its members and those in the wider community and act as an attraction to visitors, thereby, in turn, benefiting both the community owned village shop and the pub.
The purchase of the brewery equipment and the construction work was financed from a mixture of sources.
Grants were made by:
Braintree District Council’s Mi community fund (£10,000),
The Alan & Babette Sainsbury Family Trust (£4,000) and the
Yellow Car Charitable Fund, administered by the
Essex Community Foundation (£3,000)
PumpHouse is very appreciative of their support for our venture. In addition, we are supported by 73 community shareholders who provided £21,000 through a share issue. Although most shareholders live in or near to the village, we have shareholders located as far away as Canada and Singapore.
We believe that all this support provides a great opportunity for Toppesfield to continue to strengthen the vibrancy and sustainability of its community.
Our Head brewer Phil Snowdon is now brewing and we have a great beer selection which you can see on ‘Our Beers’ page.
If we can help you further please send us an e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org