• Alexander Clifford


A Derbyshire craft beer maker has been rewarded for its work developing new flavours of beer with nearly £10,000 of research and development tax credits from the government. Thornbridge Brewery has increased its sales year on year to about £9m for the current financial year. In the last three years, head brewer Rob Lovatt and his team have created a series of high-end barrel aged sour beers in bourbon and burgundy casks. They use wild yeast and different fruits such as cherry, raspberry and gooseberry to produce unique and complex flavours in these limited edition beers, which sell to craft beer connoisseurs in over 35 countries worldwide. Thornbridge Brewery has been rewarded for the work with tax credits worth more than £9,000, which have been claimed against the staff hours spent on recipe development, and the production and trialling of new beers. Chief operating officer Simon Walkden said: "Brewing is a capital-intensive business requiring investment in very expensive pieces of equipment so it is a huge help to be able to claim these tax credits. "We brew more than 50 beers every year and package them in every different form from bottles and cans to traditional casks and kegs. "I joined the company in 2015 and immediately thought there must be some R&D we can claim for here. We spoke to a couple of firms who didn’t give us the impression there was enough there. "Then we met Catax who said we should definitely claim and were very bullish about it. "They had previous experience in the brewing industry so were able to say with confidence what was applicable. "We needed to prove the development of these new beer styles required overcoming a technical uncertainty. "There’s nothing easy about creating a new beer so that didn’t pose a problem once we had the right guidance."

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