Otley Brewery celebrates fifth anniversary and Amazon deal

Nick Otley: wider appeal

Otley Brewery, the South Wales-based, family-run brewery, marked its fifth year in business on 14 August 2010 with an event at its premises in Cilfynydd.

More than 100 people, including regular customers, key suppliers, beer writers and press, attended the event to sample the brewery’s award-winning beers and enjoy live music and a barbecue.

One of the beers sampled at the event was Thai-Bo, an Oriental-inspired beer, which lists limeleaf, galangal and lemongrass as ingredients.

Set up by family members Nick Otley, Charlie Otley and Matthew Otley, the company has scooped a clutch of awards for its craft beers, including O-Garden, which picked up Champion Beer of Wales and Best Speciality Beer at the Great Welsh Beer and Cider Festival 2010.

The company has trebled in size since it was set up in 2005 and has recently expanded its premises to create a customer shop, offices and a meeting room. The company is also expanding its cold store and will be securing a new unit for bottling its beers on site.

The Otley Brewery now supplies around 40 pubs across south Wales, the south west and the south east of England, including The Rake and The White Horse in London. Last month the company started selling its products, including the Real Beer Box – a customised crate of beers – through Amazon.

Nick Otley, managing director, said: “Since day one we’ve wanted to bring a fresh, modern approach to brewing. Real ale is usually associated with a very male, traditional, woolly-jumper type of market, so we wanted to do something different and appeal to a wider audience to get more people drinking beers. Our brand has always been simple and classic, using black and white, and we find this is as real contrast with the typical flowery labels you see on other beer labels.

“Each month we bring a new, seasonal beer to market which gives us the chance to go a bit wild with new combinations and ingredients.

“We’ve achieved a lot for a small brewing business in the past five years, including taking a foothold in the London market, developing a working relationship with Amazon, working with a PR agency, Golley Slater and also being voted best beer in Wales. We’re certainly hoping to build on our success over the next five years and develop further relationships with the pub trade.”

Otley Brewing had a turnover of £385,000 in its last financial year and has seen steady growth since it started out in 2005. As well as brewing its own beer, Otley runs three pubs – The Bunch of Grapes, the Rickards Arms and the Otley Arms. This year, the company plans to grow its customer base in the South West and in London.

For more information visit: www.otleybrewing.co.uk or www.realbeerbox.com