Alcohol farm

Low-alcohol, carbon-neutral brewery comes to Abergavenny Farm

ONE of the first non-alcoholic carbon neutral breweries in the world has chosen Abergavenny for its base.

Craft brewer Drop Bear Beer Co. has submitted plans to build its brewery on a farm near Abergavenny, an area already renowned for food and drink.

If the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority gives the green light, Celliwig Farm, on the outskirts of Abergavenny, will become the headquarters of the Drop Bear Brewery – a move that would allow the booming business to increase production and create jobs.

The company’s development and growth project represents an investment of £1.9 million.

The planned brewery would give the company the capacity to produce its award-winning non-alcoholic beer, as well as storage space, a cold room, offices, brewing, packaging and canning facilities.

Founded in Swansea in 2019 by Joelle Drummond and Sarah McNena, Drop Bear has won major national and international awards for its range of non-alcoholic craft beers.

Co-founder Joelle Drummond said: “I can’t think of a better place to call Drop Bear home than the ‘food capital’ of Wales.

“Food and drink culture is so prevalent in this area, and the proposed site once housed a cider house in the 18th century.

“Our range of beers are loved around the world and we look forward to truly showcasing the quality of this region to national and global audiences.”

The Drop Bear range currently consists of four beers: Tropical IPA, Yuzu Pale Ale, Bonfire Stout and New World Lager – all of which have an alcohol content of less than 0.5% (alcohol by volume).

Dating back to the 17th century, Celliwig Farm is nestled on the slopes of Sugarloaf Mountain.

Comprised of a variety of older and more modern buildings, the farm includes heritage cider apple trees and one of the largest commercial orchards of loquats, a medieval fruit that must begin to rot before it can be eaten.

The brewery proposed by Drop Bear would transform one of the more modern buildings on the farm, while “sympathetically complementing the farm’s history and location”.

Drop Bear’s prides itself on “making beer accessible to everyone”, ensuring that its beers are vegan, gluten-free and low-calorie.

If the company’s building plans are realised, Monmouthshire will become one of the first non-alcoholic carbon neutral breweries.

The company’s aim to create a ‘green brewery’ is being supported by a £92,000 grant from the Welsh Government’s Decarbonisation and Covid Challenge Fund.

Co-founder Sarah McNena said: “We sincerely hope that our plans will be approved and we look forward to getting really involved in the local community.

“This site would really allow us to achieve all of our sustainable brewing goals in a beautiful part of the country.”