The plans for the site, above the Bedford Oolite aquifer that was famously tapped by brewery founder Charles Wells, will lay the foundation for the future of Charles Wells as a brewing family and pub company.
Charles Wells wants to build a new brewery, a visitor centre for brewery tours, an on-site pub and venue for music, events and functions on land at Fairhill, off the A6 in Bedford.
In a nod to its history, the location is also above the Bedford Oolite aquifer, which was famously tapped by brewery founder Charles Wells. The company have been using water from that well in the production of its beers since 1902.
Charles Wells commercial director Peter Wells said that the plans symbolise the direction of Charles Wells as a business, since the sale of its brewery and brands to Marston’s last year. The focus now, he added, is to become a stand-out pub company.
“As a business, Bedford has been our home for over 140 years and many members of the Wells family have lived and grown up here,” Mr Wells said. “Building this brewery in our home town maintains our heritage but gives us an opportunity to further develop our story and create exciting, new beers and experiences that will continue to support our loyal pub partners and their customers.
“While we remain a brewing family, our entire business focus is about supporting our pubs whether they are part of our leased and tenanted estate or our growing managed estates in the UK and France. The new Charles Wells brewery will be a shining example of how traditional brewers can turn the evolution of the brewing industry to their advantage, listening to their pub partners to create beers that attract customers from far and wide.”
The new brewery would also be a centre of excellence for training and best practice guidance for licensees, Mr Wells added.