In 1994 we took over the Border Brewery Company in Berwick upon Tweed. This was an 8 barrel brew plant with 15 barrels of fermenting capacity, selling 2 barrels per week at that time.
Very soon we had to add more fermenters, by 1999 we had the capacity to brew 35 barrels per week and were rapidly reaching that limit of sales. At that time Farne Island was the best selling beer and it was being brewed twice a week to keep up with demand. The search was on for a bigger plant. In 2000 the Four Rivers brewery in Byker Newcastle went into liquidation, there was a 20 barrel plant available.
We had looked for premises around Berwickshire but had drawn a blank, we had nowhere to put this large brewery if we bought it so we decided to buy the whole business from the liquidators and relocate ourselves and the existing business to Tyneside. The Four Rivers had originally been called the Hadrian Brewery so we changed the company name to Hadrian and Border, the Border, now north of Berwick and Hadrian’s wall were one and the same thing, just in different locations and eras.
With this move the brewing capacity increased to 55 barrels, Farne Island continued to be the best seller. In February 2007 Tyneside Blonde was produced, this beer gained its followers from the start, and remains an iconic brand in Northern England. Soon we were selling equal quantities of both brands and it was apparent another expansion plan was necessary.
Failed attempts to move to freehold sites in 2001, 2003 and 2007 left us rather deflated and a whole lot poorer. However sales dictated a move, it was no longer a choice but a necessity. Here we go again!
A new home was identified in April 2009 in the former Ross’s pickle factory in Newburn, West of the city. The purchase was completed in the September and the extensive refit began. Walls were knocked down, walls were built, a new roof, new drainage, and more importantly a brand new 40 barrel brewery was commissioned and installed. The first brew was mashed in April 2011. Newburn No1. We also partially rebranded to coincide with the move.
We have continued to grow the business since. On this site our production capacity is 200 barrels a week. We now have the ability to increase the business in other ways, so we gained supply agreements for major pub companies and contract brew for others who need larger or smaller production runs than they themselves can do. In 2014 we achieved our SALSA (safe and local supplier approval). A year later we passed the SALSA+beer audit which assures our customers get the best quality control available at this level of operation.
We are extremely proud of this certification and were the first brewery in the North of England to achieve it. In February 2011, we moved to our present site situated in Newburn industrial estate. We commissioned a brand new custom made 40 barrel plant which has enabled us to meet our customer demand. With over a year of construction on the new building, the brewery was up and running Our first pub, Station East in Gateshead was opened in Nov 2016.
Onward and Upward!