Archives Month: September 2013

It’s encouraging to see the growth of new breweries in the UK with 187 new breweries opening in the last 12 months according to the Good Beer Guide 2014.

Thirty years ago the national brewers of the day, such as Whitbread, Guinness, Bass etc. left little opportunity for entrepreneur brewers to survive. The choice of beers was, by today’s terms, very limited. Also there were far fewer imported beers available.

Armada Asset Finance began to be approached by more and more publicans wanting to individualise their offerings by brewing their own ales. House beers became more on trend, with micro-breweries run from the back of the pub or even in the cellars.

Once the stranglehold of the giants had been broken a steady stream of artisan brewers came to the market place. With an ever increasing choice of beers and often clever and amusing marketing, the new brewers prospered and we began to see more and larger manufacturing taking place, not behind the pub but on local industrial estates. The volume and the choices of real ales expanded dramatically.

Whether your favourite tipple is manufactured just yards from the pump or it’s shipped in by a distribution company, the cost of installing fermentation vessels, bottling lines and the rest of the equipment is very significant.

With the changes in the way banks operate the need for support for new-start breweries is more critical than ever.

From supporting the investment of a complete in-house brewery at the Beer Engine Pub near Exeter in 1983 Armada has always believed in helping start-up ventures and assisting new ideas and their development.

As well as financing all the major plant for breweries we have lost count of the number of beer casks we have funded over the last 30 years. Rather like supermarket trollies, beer casks have a sneaky way of going missing. They can’t all be at the bottom of canals!

If you know of uses to be made of steel casks perhaps you could let us know. We await your inventiveness!

We look forward to continuing our support of brewers and other creative entrepreneurs, who work hard to offer the public more choice and more quality.

For those who don’t already know about this amazing charity, the 20th September is all about raising money and awareness for children with genetic disorders to help change their lives. Genetic disorders affect 1 in 25 children born in the UK and the associated health problems mean that genetic disorders are the biggest cause of death in children.

This annual fundraiser involves getting colleagues and school children to wear their denim for the day and make a donation – something we can all do.

The money raised on Jeans for Genes Day goes to a number of charities which offer care and support to children with genetic disorders.

Why not get involved and put the date in your diary ready for 2014?

Visit to find out more.

Now that it’s autumn and the nights are pulling in we have time to sit in front of the wood fire and reflect on our recent long, hot summer.

Scanning the photo stream while listening to the logs crackling and a glass of Autumn Magic beside us, all thoughts of long sunny days fill us with a warm glow.

The days on the beach at Lyme Regis, with soft golden sand and children quietly building sandcastles or running in the shallows following breakfast at Town Mill Bakery – bliss.

Long walks on Northumberland’s vast empty, sandy beaches with endless views of ruined castles in the background – so romantic.

Perhaps best of all was visiting the Isle of Mull and that hot afternoon at Tobermory. Strolling along Main Street and finding the Isle of Mull Ice Cream Parlour. Talking to Kyle Morris about her new business and how she uses local milk from the island and how the premises were once the local conveniences!

Standing on the water’s edge with a cone of rich rum and raisin, looking out into the bay, watching the fishermen preparing their boats, the water sparkling.

Thank you Kyle, thank you Steve Jobs, these are photos and memories that will last forever.