An independent Barnsley brewery has appointed a sales executive to attract new customers and increase orders across its Yorkshire heartland and beyond.
Paul Hicks joins the staff at Acorn Brewery and is tasked with building on existing growth which has seen the company’s turnover grow year-on-year since it was established in 2003.
Paul Hicks of Acorn Brewery
Paul has 18 years’ experience in business and most recently worked as an account manager for Remploy helping hundreds of jobseekers with disabilities find jobs and previously worked for a specialist recruitment agency serving investment banks in the City of London.
Since moving back to Barnsley in 2009, Paul, who is a life-long Barnsley fan, has been an active member of the Barnsley FC Supporters Trust and is an elected member of its board. He was also instrumental in setting up ‘Redfearn’s bar’ at the football ground this season. The volunteer-run bar which raises money for BFC Academy and local charities, sells a selection of beers including Acorn cask ales.
Paul said: “I am over the moon about starting work at Acorn Brewery. I’ve always worked in sales in some form or other and really get a buzz out of the role, but this is the first time I have been genuinely passionate about what I am selling. Acorn Brewery has to be one of the top five brands in Barnsley and is a big name regionally with plenty of scope to get bigger.
“I am keen to get Acorn’s fantastic range of beers out to more buyers and boost the brewery’s growth.”
Acorn Brewery owner David Hughes said: “Paul is a welcome addition to the team, he knows us and he knows our beer through his experience selling it to fans at Oakwell. He has a very positive attitude and enthusiasm for our product.”
Acorn Brewery currently delivers beer direct to over 400 pubs and bars and 50 retail outlets including delis and farm shops in the north and midlands. It supplies to countless others across the UK via wholesalers.
Recently, the brewery secured a deal to supply 75 Morrisons stores in the north, meaning it now sells into all five established UK supermarkets including Asda, Tesco, Waitrose and Sainsbury’s. And, two months ago, Acorn secured its first export order shipping £10,000 worth of its real ale to Italy. The brewery is preparing its second batch of beers to send out to its Italian customer this month.
Dave said: “Acorn Brewery has grown successfully over the years and we’ve had some great additions to our customer list lately, but we look forward to Paul leading a fresh impetus to secure more business. We want to expand – we currently brew about 30,000 pints of real ale per week but have the capacity to ramp that up to 45,000.”
Acorn brewery, which has a turnover of £1.2 million, is based on Aldham industrial estate in Wombwell and employs 12.
One of Acorn Brewery’s best-selling brands is the iconic Barnsley Bitter which it has produced since 2003 using the original strain of Barnsley Bitter yeast, dating back to the 19th century. Acorn’s award-winning Barnsley Bitter most recently won Gold in the Society of Independent Brewers North East Region competition (standard strength brew category).
Also this month, Acorn launches it two festive ales Cracker, a pale ale, and 12th Noel, a darker, stronger beer first brewed 12 years ago when it was called First Noel.
Hand-pulled cask ale accounts for 90 per cent of Acorn’s production and investment over the last couple of years means the brewery has also increased production of bottled beers by 20 per cent and introduced keg beers to its range.
Acorn Brewery also runs the Old No 7 in Barnsley town centre where it showcases the brewery’s own beers amongst other worldwide brands.