Small Business of the Year entrant – Best of British Beer
When Will and Gill Sherwin launched Best of British Beer from their garden shed in 2011 they had no idea that by 2022 it would have grown into a business with an annual turnover of £1.7million.
In 2022 they set themselves the challenge of doubling profit within three years and are on track to achieve that target.
The Silverdale-based company recently became one of only two Employee Ownership Trusts in the brewing industry after taking the decision to give 51% of the business to its team to reward their hard work over previous years and to safeguard the future of the company.
“We aim to deliver wealth and happiness through hops,” said co-founder and director Will Sherwin.
“Throughout our history, we’ve placed an emphasis on developing the younger members of our team. In 2018, the average employee age was 19 years old. This focus has continued with two of our team joining us as apprentices at 17. They are now co-owners.
“We’re proud of being a Staffordshire business and we keep our key suppliers local. Our cardboard comes from Chesterton, the photographs are taken in Burslem, our designer is in the Westlands and we use two agencies, both in Newcastle.
“The beer and lager we use for personalised products comes from Leek and Stafford. We were therefore very proud to have been awarded the Chamber’s Staffordshire Ambassador of the Year in 2022.”
This summer will see the launch of Get Labelled, a sister company to Best of British Beer. Get Labelled will be a user-friendly website supplying personalised alcohol for corporate use and special events.
Also coming this year is a reusable cardboard beer cooler. Will and Gill are in talks with retailers, including a high-end supermarket, about stocking this for the summer.
Best of British Beer already supplies national retailers including Notonthehighstreet.com, Menkind and Funky Pigeon.
In 2022, with Staffordshire University’s Pathfinder Scheme, the business launched a dedicated subscription site which has already generated £50,000 in additional income. “We couldn’t have done it without the innovative support from the University,” added Will.
Best of British Beer has entered the Small Business of the Year category of the Staffordshire University Business Awards.