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Our customer

Based in the Republic of Ireland, Wicklow Wolf is an independent, sustainably run brewery. The business owns the first commercial hop farm in Ireland for over 40 years and use their crop in the production of a range of Irish craft beers.

Since being established in 2014, the brewery’s popularity has steadily increased due to their renowned ‘lovingly crafted and hand reared’ beers. They now sell draught and packaged products directly to pubs, restaurants and shops, as well as running an onsite tap room and merchandise store.

Business challenge

When starting up, Wicklow Wolf purchased a small brewhouse and equipment to allow them to produce beverages in-house. However, as their customer base and production output grew, they required additional capacity to meet demand.

After increasing their production capabilities several times they began working with a contract brewing partner, in addition to their own, to increase volumes. While this was an effective strategy and allowed them to produce 3000HL more, the contract brewing was costly and would not be a sustainable long term solution as the business continued to grow.

As a result, the company bought a new site in Newtownmountkennedy, with plans to construct a larger brewery and produce their range of beers entirely in-house again. To facilitate this project and protect cash flow, they would need funding.

The solution

Wicklow Wolf set out their plans to bring all contract brewing in-house and increase brewing capacity by installing equipment on their new site. They approached Close Brothers to discuss finance options, and our industry specialists consulted with decision makers to find a solution that would meet their requirements.

We were able to provide a finance lease over 60 months. This meant the brewery could source their equipment from a wide choice of trusted suppliers and release equity from the assets while retaining operating control. At the end of the agreed finance period, there are several options, including continuing to lease on an annual basis.

With our flexible equipment finance solution, Wicklow Wolf has improved access to working capital and funded a complete new brewhouse, including the purchasing of fermenting vessels, conditioning tanks, bright beer tanks and packaging equipment.

The result

Wicklow Wolf Brewing company said: "We have developed a very close business relationship over the past 4 years. We could not have achieved everything that we have without their support during that time. We will produce 13,000 HL this year and have aggressive growth plans for the coming years. Having a partner like Close Brothers by your side is very comforting".