Hepworth Brewery are makers of quality beer, however their branding has always seemed to me to be safe and more nostalgic than eye catching.
But I think they’ll be grabbing a lot more attention in the pubs with the confident and sleek design of the Sussex range now rolling off the brewery’s new canning line

The range includes 4 beers which are all Gluten free: a 3.5% Lager, a 5.5% Pale, a 5% APA and a 0.5% low alcohol Lager

Brighton Beer Blog chat to new Managing Director, Leo Murphy; Founder, Andy Hepworth; and Head of Sales and Marketing, Dave Paterson about the 4 beers in the new range and whether this is just the start of modernisation for the brewery

Andy Hepworth, Chairman & Founder - Hepworth Brewery

Andy Hepworth, Chairman & Founder – Hepworth Brewery

Leo Murphy, Managing Director - Hepworth Brewery

Leo Murphy, Managing Director – Hepworth Brewery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hepworth’s new Managing Director


Leo, you’ve been with Hepworth
’s for around 6 months now, what were the priorities for you as the new MD?

(Leo) – I joined Hepworth’s because of its great reputation within the brewing world, which is really down to founder Andy Hepworth.  He’s recognised as one of the most talented brewers of his generation, becoming the youngest Head Brewer ever when he was at King & Barnes, and his vision for Hepworth’s particularly on the sustainability front, was well ahead of the curve in the brewing industry.

My main focus since joining has been to communicate this brewing excellence, innovative spirit and environmental credentials more effectively. That’s meant a complete review of everything we do, particularly on the branding front – which is how we came to launch the Sussex range, which is very different to Hepworth’s previous branding.


What skills or experience do you bring to the Hepworth? Have you worked in breweries before?

(Leo) – I’d not worked for a brewery before joining Hepworth’s, but I’ve worked for a number of pub groups, including Greene King who also brew. So I joined Hepworth’s with a customer’s perspective, looking at what we offer to pubs and asking why a publican would stock our beers rather than those from another brewer. That’s been pretty useful intelligence and has led to some changes in what we do at Hepworth’s.

 

Hepworth’s canned Sussex range


So the first cans off the newly installed canning line look very bold and slick.
Certainly a modernisation from the bottled product. What’s the vision or message with the new branding and design?

(Andy) – Yes, we’re really pleased with the design for the Sussex range. They’re very different to the way Hepworth’s has presented its beers up to now, which has been more traditional. There’s nothing wrong with tradition, but the beer market has changed so much in the last 20 years or so since Hepworth’s started, and we hadn’t really kept up.  For Sussex, we wanted a look that would allow us to compete in the craft beer space, so the designs are minimal and the key messages about the beers, like being gluten free and vegan friendly, are really clear.  So they work well on a supermarket shelf or behind a bar, and at the many events where the Hepworth’s bar will be over the summer.


Is the
Sussex range just the start of a change in the branding of all your existing bottled product as well?

(Leo) –  We will be updating the look of Hepworth’s whole portfolio of beers, but the changes to our existing beers will be evolutionary rather than revolutionary, and we’ll be making them over time.  We have loyal customers who have been enjoying our draught and bottled beers for 20 years or more, so we don’t want to change the look of their favourite drink overnight! Our approach will be to gradually make our current range a bit more contemporary, while any new beers that we launch are likely to be more along the lines of the Sussex range.


I’m assuming the name comes from the generally Sussex based ingredients
list?

(Andy) – Yes, the ingredients and the brewery location. Hepworth’s has always been based in Sussex, firstly in central Horsham and for the last seven years in Pulborough, and those roots are important to us. As for ingredients, we source the hops and barley for Hepworth’s beers from within Sussex whenever we can – we get hops from Chris Daws at Bodiam, organic barley from the Goodwood estate. We don’t claim that all our beers are made from 100% Sussex ingredients, but we’re firm believers in supporting local growers.


Can you tell us why you think the beers in the range are special or stand out in the market?

(Dave) – Standing out in the beer market today is a huge challenge, given there are now around 1,800 breweries in the UK.  As an independent brewery, Hepworth’s is competing for every space on a supermarket shelf or in a pub or bar.  We have no aspirations to become a national brand, but we have strong appeal locally within Sussex, and having a range that proudly proclaims its links with the county is, we believe, a good tactic.


Are the recipes all brand new or rejigged from Hepworth bottled product, which I remember was also quite
Sussex ingredient focussed?

(Andy) – The Sussex range has some completely new beers within it and a couple that are developments of our existing well-liked beers. They are all brewed with the excellent, locally-sourced ingredients that our farmers grow in Sussex.

We didn’t rush into putting our beer into cans, but waited until we could find the machinery that would match the quality we use for packaging our beers in other formats. We take the same amount of care over all our beers, whether they’re going into bottle, keg or can.

 

Where can you buy the Sussex beer range


What’s the plan for reaching consumers with these cans?

(Leo) – We’ve been promoting the Sussex range on social channels, as we know that’s where a lot of the younger, craft beer drinkers look for information. We also have some smart Sussex branded glasses that are going into pubs selling the beers, and tent cards for tables. And of course cans of Sussex are going out on the Hepworth’s mobile bar that will be making an appearance at events across the county over the summer.

Where can people find them in pubs or bottle shops in Brighton and Hove?

(Dave) – As the Sussex range is still new, we’re in the process of confirming stockists, but here are a few: The George Payne in Hove, The Railway Arms in Portslade, The Cricketers in Worthing and Rassassy Deli & Farm Shop in Ferring.  We also sell all our beers in the Brewery Shop in Pulborough – open 10-5.30 Monday to Wednesday, and Thursday to Saturday 10-8pm. And we have an online store, https://hepworthbrewery.co.uk/shop/

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Hepworth Brewery are makers of quality beer, however their branding has always seemed to me to be safe and more nostalgic than eye catching.
But I think they’ll be grabbing a lot more attention in the pubs with the confident and sleek design of the Sussex range now rolling off the brewery’s new canning line

The range includes 4 beers which are all Gluten free: a 3.5% Lager, a 5.5% Pale, a 5% APA and a 0.5% low alcohol Lager

Brighton Beer Blog chat to new Managing Director, Leo Murphy; Founder, Andy Hepworth; and Head of Sales and Marketing, Dave Paterson about the 4 beers in the new range and whether this is just the start of modernisation for the brewery

Andy Hepworth, Chairman & Founder - Hepworth Brewery

Andy Hepworth, Chairman & Founder – Hepworth Brewery

Leo Murphy, Managing Director - Hepworth Brewery

Leo Murphy, Managing Director – Hepworth Brewery

 

Hepworth’s new Managing Director?

Leo, you’ve been with Hepworth’s for around 6 months now, what were the priorities for you as the new MD?

(Leo) – I joined Hepworth’s because of its great reputation within the brewing world, which is really down to founder Andy Hepworth.  He’s recognised as one of the most talented brewers of his generation, becoming the youngest Head Brewer ever when he was at King & Barnes, and his vision for Hepworth’s particularly on the sustainability front, was well ahead of the curve in the brewing industry.

My main focus since joining has been to communicate this brewing excellence, innovative spirit and environmental credentials more effectively. That’s meant a complete review of everything we do, particularly on the branding front – which is how we came to launch the Sussex range, which is very different to Hepworth’s previous branding.


What skills or experience do you bring to the Hepworth? Have you worked in breweries before?

(Leo) – I’d not worked for a brewery before joining Hepworth’s, but I’ve worked for a number of pub groups, including Greene King who also brew. So I joined Hepworth’s with a customer’s perspective, looking at what we offer to pubs and asking why a publican would stock our beers rather than those from another brewer. That’s been pretty useful intelligence and has led to some changes in what we do at Hepworth’s.

 

Hepworth’s canned Sussex range


So the first cans off the newly installed canning line look very bold and slick.
Certainly a modernisation from the bottled product. What’s the vision or message with the new branding and design?

(Andy) – Yes, we’re really pleased with the design for the Sussex range. They’re very different to the way Hepworth’s has presented its beers up to now, which has been more traditional. There’s nothing wrong with tradition, but the beer market has changed so much in the last 20 years or so since Hepworth’s started, and we hadn’t really kept up.  For Sussex, we wanted a look that would allow us to compete in the craft beer space, so the designs are minimal and the key messages about the beers, like being gluten free and vegan friendly, are really clear.  So they work well on a supermarket shelf or behind a bar, and at the many events where the Hepworth’s bar will be over the summer.


Is the
Sussex range just the start of a change in the branding of all your existing bottled product as well?

(Leo) –  We will be updating the look of Hepworth’s whole portfolio of beers, but the changes to our existing beers will be evolutionary rather than revolutionary, and we’ll be making them over time.  We have loyal customers who have been enjoying our draught and bottled beers for 20 years or more, so we don’t want to change the look of their favourite drink overnight! Our approach will be to gradually make our current range a bit more contemporary, while any new beers that we launch are likely to be more along the lines of the Sussex range.


I’m assuming the name comes from the generally Sussex based ingredients
list?

(Andy) – Yes, the ingredients and the brewery location. Hepworth’s has always been based in Sussex, firstly in central Horsham and for the last seven years in Pulborough, and those roots are important to us. As for ingredients, we source the hops and barley for Hepworth’s beers from within Sussex whenever we can – we get hops from Chris Daws at Bodiam, organic barley from the Goodwood estate. We don’t claim that all our beers are made from 100% Sussex ingredients, but we’re firm believers in supporting local growers.


Can you tell us why you think the beers in the range are special or stand out in the market?

(Dave) – Standing out in the beer market today is a huge challenge, given there are now around 1,800 breweries in the UK.  As an independent brewery, Hepworth’s is competing for every space on a supermarket shelf or in a pub or bar.  We have no aspirations to become a national brand, but we have strong appeal locally within Sussex, and having a range that proudly proclaims its links with the county is, we believe, a good tactic.


Are the recipes all brand new or rejigged from Hepworth bottled product, which I remember was also quite
Sussex ingredient focussed?

(Andy) – The Sussex range has some completely new beers within it and a couple that are developments of our existing well-liked beers. They are all brewed with the excellent, locally-sourced ingredients that our farmers grow in Sussex.

We didn’t rush into putting our beer into cans, but waited until we could find the machinery that would match the quality we use for packaging our beers in other formats. We take the same amount of care over all our beers, whether they’re going into bottle, keg or can.

 

Where can you buy the Sussex range of beers


What’s the plan for reaching consumers with these cans?

(Leo) – We’ve been promoting the Sussex range on social channels, as we know that’s where a lot of the younger, craft beer drinkers look for information. We also have some smart Sussex branded glasses that are going into pubs selling the beers, and tent cards for tables. And of course cans of Sussex are going out on the Hepworth’s mobile bar that will be making an appearance at events across the county over the summer.

Where can people find them in pubs or bottle shops in Brighton and Hove?

(Dave) – As the Sussex range is still new, we’re in the process of confirming stockists, but here are a few: The George Payne in Hove, The Railway Arms in Portslade, The Cricketers in Worthing and Rassassy Deli & Farm Shop in Ferring.  We also sell all our beers in the Brewery Shop in Pulborough – open 10-5.30 Monday to Wednesday, and Thursday to Saturday 10-8pm. And we have an online store, https://hepworthbrewery.co.uk/shop/

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