Everards Brewery is an independent, family business that makes impressive beer in Leicestershire, England. It’s no small operation. Established in 1849, Everards owns more than 170 pubs across the Midlands (the geographic area roughly spanning central England) on top of brewing award winning ales with very British sounding names like Tiger, Old Original and Beacon Bitter.
Everards has had some big plans in the works for some time. The company has started the development of a new 90-acre site in Leicestershire called Everards Meadows. These plans include an above average amount of awesomeness, including: a brewery, cycle “centre,” cafe roastery, pub restaurant and a community park that will connect directly to the National Cycling Network.
Well, Everards Meadows is also something cooler — a business and community incubator. Everards already works with other types of businesses — from local charity Warning Zone to local venues like The Curve Theatre to successful sports teams such as the Leicester Tigers. With years of experience as partnering business owners, Everards is now seeking to develop those great opportunities at Everards Meadows by building a community of local businesses and organizations at the site.
What’s the inspiration for this £30-million (like $38,806,950 American) investment into Leicestershire’s countryside? According to Managing Director Stephen Gould, there were two interesting influencing factors: the Oxford Advanced Management and Leadership Program he studied at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford under the tutelage of Dr Lalit Johr and Professor Sue Dopson, and the brewery’s own history, which began in 1849.
To the press release:
“When I enrolled on the program, I had been a director of Everards for 11 years,” said Managing Director Stephen Gould. “An MBA was not for me and neither did I want to feel like I was going back to school. I was looking for the opportunity to have great conversations with other leaders from countries and cultures different from my own and from businesses outside our field. I saw it as a tremendous opportunity to expand our thinking.”
The program lived up to Stephen’s expectations, and one lesson in particular resonated with the brewing industry veteran. “The importance of having company-wide clarity of purpose,” he said. “Now that might sound obvious, but when I started out as a trainee at Bass Plc in 1989, the focus was very much “create a business strategy, get some KPI’s together and away you go.” Defining your purpose requires something much deeper, and we realized we had some thinking to do at Everards.’
“We’re a people centric business, and a collaborative one. We realized that much of our success could be traced to our strength in building relationships and treating people decently,” recalled Stephen. Everards had a recent example of this: an initiative named Project William, inspired by their founder, saw the company collaborate with new breweries by purchasing failing pubs and leasing them to the brewery owners. The project was a resounding success, resulting in 19 Project William pubs operated by 12 brewer partners. ‘Rather than the emerging new brewer becoming a competitor, they became a collaborator instead,’ explained Stephen.
Everards Meadows will be a practical manifestation of all those ideas — a place for businesses to work with each other and have good quality conversations. And drink beer. And do some cycling. The site will include:
- A state of the art brewery for Everards to brew beers for its pubs and local partners
- A head office for the sixth generation of our independent, family business
- A bespoke Tasting Room for beer sampling, hospitality and a place to share our passion for the finest quality beer
- An innovative training and development facility
- A top of the range retail shop celebrating the Everards Story for visitors
- A progressive and cutting edge café/bar connecting seamlessly to the Green space
- A restaurant which complements the café/bar and Cycling Centre
- An industry leading Cycle Centre with award-winning family business, Rutland Cycling.
- Hopefully more businesses and organizations to come!
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