Bury St Edmunds-based Greene King to launch new beers developed under Craft Academy apprenticeship scheme
15:13 13 February 2017
Charles Henderson Photography
Pubs and brewing group Greene King has launched a new craft ale venture – led by apprentices.
Bury St Edmunds-based Greene King says the initiative will help “craft new talent and unbottle potential” by offering young people an opportunity to earn an income while learning a range of industry-specific skills and achieving a professional qualificaction.
The Craft Academy is an 18-month programme during which participants will be supported by experienced mentors in learning skills including brewing, design, marketing and sales, in order to develop new craft beers and bring them to the market under the Craft Academy brand.
Two apprentices, Nancy Nangle and Dan Scott, are already well into the initial Craft Academy course and the first beers produced as a result are due to feature at the Craft Beer Rising 2017 event, taking place at the Old Truman Brewery in London’s Brick Lane from February 23 to 25.
Nancy, 25, said: “I’ve always been interested in beer, so being part of the Craft Academy and getting to work on new and eclectic brews is fantastic. It’s been amazing to work on the launch of the first range of products, and we’ve got great plans to come.”
Dan, 24, added: “It’s been really exciting to get so involved in the process, and there’s so much more to it than meets the eye. We’ve been learning the ropes for the past few months and we’re really excited to take the first range to Craft Beer Rising.”
The first five beers from the Craft Academy include Over Easy, a 3.8% alcohol by volume (abv) session IPA), Big Bang IPA, 5.6%abv and “bold and citrusy”, Bitter Sweet, a 6% black IPA, Desert Ryeder, a 4.8% rye beer, and High & Dry, a 5% dry hop lager.
The beers can already be found in selected pubs and venues, with plans to launch them into more outlets and retailers. Applications will open for further apprentices to join the programme in future, with the aim over time being to create a range of core, seasonal and limited edition Craft Academy products.
George Johnston, Brewing and Brands marketing director at Greene King, said: “The Craft Academy gives young people the chance to learn in-depth about each component of the brew process, right from creating the recipe and designing the branding to marketing and selling the beers.
“We’re really pleased to support this venture, which helps young people to realise their passion for beer and brewing while working to secure a professional qualification.”
Cask Academy is the latest move by Greene King to tap into the burgeoning craft beer market, which now accounts for 17% of on-trade beer sales is worth £1.7bn a year.
The company, which is the UK’s largest producer of cask-conditioned ales, already operates the small-batch St Edmunds Brewhouse in Bury St Edmunds, alongside its main brewery in the town and the Belhaven brewery in Dunbar, Scotland.