Change is brewing at Tempest

Tempest Brewery says its current site in Tweedbank does not allow for expansion.Tempest Brewery says its current site in Tweedbank does not allow for expansion.
Tempest Brewery says its current site in Tweedbank does not allow for expansion.
A Borders-based brewery is aiming to tap into expansion in Galashiels after announcing a relocation bid.

Tempest Brewing Co. Ltd currently operates from three separate units on the Tweedbank Industrial Estate at Tweedbank in Galashiels.

But the existing sites prohibit expansion and the company is now seeking approval from Scottish Borders Council for permission for a partial change of use of an existing industrial building – Unit 8A, Tweedside Park – to become mixed use with a brewery, a licensed taproom and kitchen and associated external beer garden seating, with small on-site brewery shop.

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Permission is also sought for the erection of a 2m high perimeter fence along the north elevation, the building of an external plant room and the relocation and erection of a grain silo and brewing vessels.

Tempest Brewing Co Ltd is an independently owned and operated microbrewery launched in 2010 in a small premises in Kelso.

It outgrew the Kelso base by 2014 and moved to units at Tweedbank in early 2015.

A report submitted with the application says: “The challenges we face as a business over the next 10 years are maintaining a competitive edge in a saturated market, de-carbonizing our business, and diversifying our product range into fermented alcohol-free products which we cannot do from our current site. At our current premises, we do not have any space left to expand.

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“We require more space for improvements in our production and processing equipment, e.g., investment in packaging and warehousing automation, such as box packing and keg filling.

“We would also like to develop the hospitality side of our business to provide an improved customer experience of visiting our brewery; to make it a destination experience at the end of the Tweedbank Railway Line.

“This idea underpins the development of our business and the value of our brand. We cannot grow the hospitality side of our business from the current site due to planning restrictions, location, and space constraints.

“We have been trying to relocate our business in its entirety to more appropriate premises since 2018, with the original intention of building a new purpose-built brewery on the former Eildon Mill site. However, for various reasons, that project did not go ahead. Unfortunately, due to the changes that have taken place in the economy since 2019, achieving our ultimate goal of having a new purpose-built factory is impossible, therefore we have had to look at alternative options.

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“Our preference has always been to stay in the immediate vicinity of Tweedbank as we are firmly established as a Tweedbank brewery. In Unit 8A Tweedside Park, we have identified suitable alternative premises that can offer us the potential to further develop and grow our business whilst remaining in the Tweedbank vicinity.”