Three Tuns brews record £1m sales decade after last orders fear

Co-owner John Russell, along with business partner Bill Brainbridge, has seen the fortunes of The Three Tuns change dramatically over the last decade, with the Shropshire brewery set to break the £1m sales barrier for the first time.

England oldest brewery is set to smash the £1m sales barrier for the first time in its history, just a decade after two ale lovers prevented its potential closure.

The Three Tuns Brewery, based in the Midlands town of Bishops Castle, Shropshire, has seen the growing popularity of real ale result in additional demand for its products since fears of closure in 2004.

Business partners Bill Bainbridge and John Russell stepped in after the brewery was faced with being sold and made into a block of flats.

And with over 500 pubs now selling its casked conditioned ales, the company has set its sights on the next stage of its expansion on building its presence within the Black Country and Staffordshire.

“Three Tuns is one of England’s best kept secrets, so we knew we had to step in to save it and all those years of history,” said Bainbridge.

He added the intention was to modernise the brewhouse upon purchasing the The Three Tuns, which was was granted a license by King Charles the 1st in 1642, by investing in a new brewing system.

“We set ourselves the task of modernising the original brewhouse, increasing our distribution network and recreating the treasured recipes found in The Three Tuns recipe books, handed down by previous custodians of the brewery,” he said.

“It’s taken us over a decade to get to where we want to be, but the good news is we are now one of the most respected craft breweries in the world.”

The duo invested nearly £900,000 into creating a new brewing system, a challenge made even bigger by the fact that they had to do this within the confines of the existing building.

This involved an injection of 200 tonnes of steel to allow for the new equipment to be installed over the four floors, which included new water tanks, fermenting vessels and a new brewery kettle.

Business partner Russell, a former futures trader on the world’s stock markets, added: “There have been four new jobs created in the last year alone, one of those being our trainee brewer Josh Russell, who at just 20 years-old, is one of the youngest in the trade.”