Brewery forced to close site and relocate due to pandemic
A prominent brewery in the Melton borough is closing its premises due mainly to the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic but it will continue to produce beer and there are plans to relocate to a new site in or close to the town.
Belvoir Brewery has traded since 1995, it supplies hundreds of pubs and retail outlets in the East Midlands and has also operated a popular bar, restaurant and shop at The Alehouse Visitor Centre at its Old Dalby base.
But the absence of customers and visitors at the Station Road business and the closure of the hospitality sector for long periods over the last year as the country went into lockdown has prompted head brewer and director, Colin Brown, to take stock of the company.
He has reluctantly decided to make staff redundant and cease operations at Old Dalby to allow the rebuilding of the brewery and tap room on a smaller, more sustainable scale at a new site.
Sales of the company’s bottled beers, such as Melton Red, Old Dalby, Blue Brew and Whipling, will continue but cask ale production is to be placed into limbo for now.
Colin told the Melton Times: “I want to send a positive message out about all of this.
“I’m doing this now because we are in a reasonably good place and doing this gives us options moving forward.
“We are moving everything into storage for now and looking for a new location for brewing and retail in Melton or on the edge of Melton, if possible.”
The visitor centre, shop, bar and restaurant will not reopen at the currently location with everything due to be moved out by the end of the month or early in May.
Bottled and draught beer will continue to be sold until April 17 but after this only bottled beers will be sold from the firm’s online shop.
Bottled beers will carry on being sold to wholesale customers but no draught casks.
Colin said another brewery outside the Melton area will be used to brew the company’s beers in the short term until they have relocated.
“We’ve been selling takeaway beers during lockdown and we have been brewing quite a bit over the last few months,” he said.
“We have quite a lot of bottled beer in stock which will keep us going over the summer.”
Belvoir Brewery has received some government grant funding, via Melton Borough Council, to help keep it going through the pandemic.
But the lockdowns have been a huge blow to the business and this has prompted Colin to take the action he has taken.
“It’s a big place for us to run at Old Dalby and not being busy for 15 months has been difficult,” he added.
“We are still in a relatively good place, though, and I am hoping we can find a new site to allow us to restructure and move forward.”