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Our customer

Founded in 1995, Freedom Brewery have a long legacy, as pioneers in creating craft lagers without compromise. They have since grown into one of the largest and most unique independent producers in the UK.

Freedom Brewery relocated from London to the Staffordshire countryside of Bagots Park near Abbots Bromley in 2004. This enabled the brewery to expand and grow but also more importantly it utilised what was 240 feet underneath the rolling hills, the famous Burton brewing water, packed with salts and minerals and perfect for brewing. That is just the start of a sustainable and ethical brewing process where beer is brewed at its own pace, resulting in gentle, naturally carbonated, flavoursome craft lagers.

Now a market leader, they continue to innovate and develop, focusing on growing the reach of the brand.

The challenge

After being bought by a private equity firm in 2015, further expansion and growth was prioritised. With a need to scale up and expand production, accessing funding for new equipment was a primary objective and the team turned to Close Brothers Brewery Rentals for support.

The solution

Our industry specialists worked closely with the key decision makers to develop an equipment finance solution to fund larger brewery tanks allowing them to meet their production goals. Impressed with the expertise and flexibility from the partnership, Freedom Brewery has worked with the team on several expansion projects since.

The pressures of the coronavirus pandemic required the business to shift distribution directly to consumers and increase canning capabilities, diversifying the products and bringing packaging in-house to manage costs. Close Brothers Brewery Rentals were able to fund the additional equipment needed, supporting the transition to greater canning and packaging capabilities.

The result

Since partnering in 2018, Freedom Brewery has doubled their capacity with the support of our specialist funding team. The additional assets purchased has allowed the business to increase off-trade capacity, with opportunities to fulfil large retail contracts, increasing brand awareness. 

With continued ambition for the brand in the coming years they will be further innovating and improving efficiency in production, supported by Close Brothers.

Matt Willson, Managing Director at Freedom Brewery, said:

“Close Brothers Brewery Rentals has been instrumental in financing and growing the company. Our continued relationship demonstrates the value we see in having a trusted partner.

We can drive forward with our business development safe in the knowledge of ongoing support from Close Brothers, both within Brewery Rentals and the wider banking services, with teams that will engage and understand our motivations and the best ways to achieve success.”