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Abergavenny proposed as new Drop Bear brewery site

Artist’s impression of Drop Bear Beer’s proposed brewery at Celliwig Farm near Abergavenny.

Wales’ ‘food capital’ has been revealed as the proposed site of the world’s first carbon neutral alcohol-free brewery.

Pioneering craft brewer Drop Bear Beer Co. has submitted plans to build its bespoke brewery on a farm near Abergavenny, an area renowned for food and drink excellence and innovation.

If given the go-ahead by the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, Celliwig

Farm on the outskirts of Abergavenny will become home to Drop Bear’s brewery – a move that would allow the burgeoning business to increase production and create jobs in the locality.

The proposed development and growth of the company represents an equity investment £1.9million.

The planned brewery would give the company the capacity to produce its award-winning alcohol-free beer, along with warehousing space, cool room, offices, brewing, packaging and canning facilities.

Drop Bear co-founder Joelle Drummond said, “I can’t think of a better place for Drop Bear to call home than the ‘food capital’ of Wales. The culture of food and drink is so prevalent in this region, and the proposed site was once the home to a cidery in the 18th Century. Our range of award-winning beers are enjoyed across the world and we look forward to really showcasing the quality of this region to national and global audiences.”

Dating back to the 17th century, the Celliwig Farm nestles on the slopes of the Sugar Loaf Mountain. Comprising of a variety of ancient and more modern buildings, the farm includes heritage cider apple trees, and one of the largest commercial orchards of Medlars, a medieval fruit.

Drop Bear’s proposed brewery would transform one of the farm’s more modern buildings, while sympathetically complementing the farm’s history and location. Also, the creation of a carbon neutral brewery is in sync with current Welsh Government, local government and National Park policies regarding sustainability, climate change and carbon reduction.

Joelle said, “This development would not only breathe fresh life into a 17th Century farm, it would assist in its preservation and adaptation for the future. Our brewery is set to be a world leading development with carbon neutral status and will simultaneously honour the farm’s history and set it up for a more sustainable future.”

If given the green light, the brewery also plans to support other local drinks producers through contract production and packaging services. Contract customers of Drop Bear would benefit from Drop Bear’s green credentials as well as SALSA accredited facilities.

Drop Bear co-founder Sarah McNena said, “We understand the struggles of contracting out production or packaging as a drinks brand, especially in Wales. We are eager to address this industry wide struggle and provide support to other local drinks businesses with our state of the art, green facility. Welsh drinks have so much to offer the world and we look forward to helping other aspiring businesses achieve their goals.”

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

On a mission to brew the best 0.5% ABV craft beers and build a better world in which to drink it, Drop Bear’s range appeals to a wide variety of customers across the world and prides itself on creating accessible beer for everyone, ensuring their beers are vegan friendly, gluten free, and low calorie, all whilst creating award winning flavours.

A Living Wage employer, from the outset the pair’s strong ethical values and commitment to the environment, have been at the heart of their business ethos. In late 2021, Drop Bear became Wales’ first B Corporation®️ brewery, a designation that puts the company among an elite group of environmentally, ethically, and socially-focused UK food and drink businesses.

If the company’s building plans are realised, then Monmouthshire will become home to the world’s first carbon neutral alcohol-free brewery. 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.

Drop Bear is collaborating with specialist organisations that bring a raft of expertise in areas such as carbon emissions reduction, renewable energy, and environmental impact analysis, and the business is back-dating its contribution by taking steps to mitigate carbon emissions from the company’s inception in 2019.

Sarah said, “We sincerely hope that our plans are approved and look forward to really getting 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. As a B Corp™️, we have a legal responsibility to do the right thing for people and planet and believe that this development would not only create more opportunities in a fantastic workplace, it would benefit the drinks industry as a whole.”