Copper Dragon Brewery case study

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Courtesy of Byworth Boilers

At Byworth Boilers we have a fantastically varied mix of customers with some really interesting businesses and stories to tell.

In our new feature ‘Customer Catch ups’ we are going to tell the stories behind some of these businesses, and of our working relationships with them.

We  will begin by interviewing the MD of Skipton based brewery Copper Dragon, Steve Taylor.

Name: Steve Taylor                        Role: Managing Director

Business: Copper Dragon – a family run business, keeping the heritage of traditional brewing alive producing cask ales and bottled beers.

Career history:

My background is in engineering and tooling, working and supplying companies such as Rolls Royce,  BAE Systems and Airbus, later developing an F.O.D. tool control system for engagement on production lines in aircraft and jet engine manufacturers both here in the UK and USA.

12 years ago, I embarked on a life long ambition to build and own a micro brewery. After extensive research and with the support of my family we launched Copper Dragon.We have worked hard to establish its reputation and have grown the brew to regional status within ten years, which is some achievement!

“Now employing over 60 people, today we have a 60 barrel brew house, using steam generated by a Byworth Boiler on a two acre site in Skipton.”

Business structure:

We are a family business through and through; my partner Ruth is Director of sales, and my son and daughter work within the business.

The barley for our beer is grown on UK farms, before coming to our Skipton site to start the brewing process.

At the site we also have a visitor centre where we offer guided tours, attracting thousands of customers each year, we also work with local  6th form students demonstrating the application of  engineering and biochemistry. We have an onsite Bistro with an excellent reputation and conference facilities are also available.

We  own four pubs all with our six core products in cask version and our bottled beers are sold worldwide.

Working with Byworth:

The boiler is integral to the brewing process. In 2008 when production went regional we decided to invest in a Yorkshireman 2 from Byworth Boilers.

I did a lot of research into boilers from manufacturers worldwide, I required a boiler that was going to give me the reliability required to grow the company and for this reason Byworth was awarded the contract.  I wanted the best boiler – high quality technical engineering from competent suppliers. We decided the Byworth Yorkshireman was the best available – and the fact that it was made just down the road by a fellow Yorkshire business was great.

Throughout the process we were able to visit the Byworth factory many times to witness our boiler under construction. We built a great relationship with their team and could see they really cared and their business was run on similar principles to ours; delivering good service and a quality product. It was very interesting to watch the develop from  flat steel plate to a fully packaged boiler.

From the initial install – which was delivered and up and running within 14 days, we have always received fantastic service from Byworth’s. We have never suffered production loss due to down time – their maintenance and service has always been carried out as promised.

In the rare case of an emergency we contact the service team who are always available within 24 hours and with a one trip call out they are fully prepared with all the equipment and spare parts necessary to sort any problem.

Byworth have also trained all our operators enabling them to carry out daily checks and routine maintenance. They always oblige by being on time to meet our AXA insurance inspectors and get the boiler back to working order post the inspection.

The final word:

Copper Dragon Beers are at the top end of the market, with unique flavours supplying 1700 customers.  This year has seen Copper Dragon become the Official Sponsor of “Padgett’s Honda Racing Team”

It is no wonder that all the team at Byworth’s are always so keen to go and visit them for maintenance, or extra checkups !

In coming years both Steve and the Head Brewer will be retiring and luckily Copper Dragon have been fortunate enough to secure an IBD Brewer, who is currently only one paper away from achieving his Master Brewer Accreditation, which will make him only one in a small number here in the UK.

Byworth’s have a great working relationship with Copper Dragon and we look forward to a long future working together helping to keep their business running, developing and growing.

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