A taste for adventure

Our Story


In 2003 after working for eight years as a management consultant in the food sector I thought it was time for a change. It was clear that locally sourced food was growing in popularity and North Wales, the land of my birth had very few breweries. By 2006 after reading many books and testing out various recipes in the kitchen, I had grown the embryo of an idea into a fledgling business, The Great Orme Brewery. Working out of a 700 square foot shed on what was originally the family farm, our first brew won a regional CAMRA award which gave me the confidence to push on.


The brewery continued to grow, picking up many awards along the way, the most notable being Champion Mild of Britain in 2013 at the Great British Beer Festival. By 2018 we had grown to a team of eight fulltime staff, however it was becoming increasingly clear that the microbrewery sector had changed. For example, Snowdon Craft Lager, launch in 2011 as little more than a test brew, quickly became our single biggest selling product, and at the same time it was clear that influences from the US craft beer market where changing people’s drinking habits here in the UK.

In 2018, triggered by our relocation, we took the bold decision to reinvent the business. We looked hard at how UK microbrewing was developing and tried to predict where the industry might be heading in the future, and so Snowdon Craft Beer was born with the goal of producing high quality beer with a clear regional identity and a modern outlook on society and the role that a modern brewery and its beers can play within it.


Despite trying to anticipate the future in 2018, we didn’t predict the onset of COVID, the subsequent lockdowns, the war in Ukraine, the affects this had on our ability to trade and the unprecedented increase in energy and raw material costs. This left our business with a stark choice, succumb to the economic realities and close or reinvent ourselves and face the new challenges head on.

The later was only ever going to be option I would choose.

It was clear that a doubling of raw material costs and a predicted quadrupling in energy costs would require a radically different business model. In response, in late 2023 we decided to cease brewing and instead use likeminded and Welsh brewers to brew on our behalf, including those who were looking to reduce their environmental impact. In this way we would secure the long-term employment of our remaining staff, protect our brand and continue to grow while still being rooted in Wales. But more importantly it allows us to develop a new side of the business, our innovation hub project, and to help other breweries along with the extended Welsh supply chain, who faced similar challenges to us. Helping them to become better utilised, more efficient and more resilient.

No doubt we’ll face criticism from some for suspending brewing, but we cannot ignore the realities of sector economics. The UK Craft Brewing sector is under tremendous pressure right now and is likely to be for some time. Any brewery who isn’t experiencing this is either in denial, hasn’t run the numbers or found the magic bullet, and a huge congratulation to them if they’ve found that bullet. In our opinion collaboration and working WITH other breweries and companies is the way to navigate through this testing time and NOT to hang on to an outdated business philosophy by acting in isolation.

The new age of craft brewing will be dependent on collaboration, networking, cooperative working and openminded thinking. Personally, I think the Welsh Craft Beer sector should be leading the way.

If nothing else we’re living through very interesting times, and I’d really like you to follow and support us as we attempt to navigate our business through them. When you think about it treading the path less travelled seems to be what our brand is all about, be that through the wilderness of the small business world or the wilds of Yr Wyddfa.


Will we go back into brewing? YES, but at the right time and at the right scale and with the right business structure. We’re currently working on plans to develop our innovation hub project and we’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, we’ll continue to push our brands, develop our business and help other genuine craft breweries do the same. We’re on this little planet together, so why not work together.

Base camp

We’re currently working on it. It’s all a bit hush hush right now, but we’ll fill you in later.


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