1874 – 2024

2024 will be an exciting year at Batemans Brewery, who brew 10,000 hectolitres per year, operate 50 pubs and a Free Trade network in Lincolnshire, East Midlands and Norfolk, as it is 150 years since George Bateman started his brewery in Wainfleet, Lincolnshire, and it still remains one of the few, truly independent, family breweries left in England.

Since Covid, the brewery has thrived and is now in the ‘Development’ stage of its three phase Covid plan, announced by Stuart Bateman just as lockdowns started in March 2020: ‘Survival, Revival, Development’. New pubs have been opened, new beers brewed, brewing collaborations entered into and a pub refurbishment programme introduced.

The sesquicentennial year was also seen as an opportunity to evolve their branding and indeed the most visual part of the business, the pump clips, with the assistance of Staffordshire branding firm PHd design. A strong recognisable new branding has been created, which harks to the past brewing traditions, retaining the slogan ‘Craft Brewer’s since 1874’, but positions the brewery strongly for the next phase of growth.  The brewery’s key four brands are the first to receive the new branding, XB, Triple XB, ‘Yella Belly’ Gold and the new Five Generations (5G), as well as all merchandising and point of sale materials.

The new beer, clip and point of sale materials, such as drip mats, bar runner and parasols. These will be available from mid-March 2024.

Stuart said “Our new branding is modern and fresh, but with a ‘nod’ to our past”

Celebrations, events and promotions are planned to mark this landmark year, including the new branding and a new cask beer, Five Generations (5G), a 4.2% ABV beer brewed with only English hops; Harlequin, Fuggles and Olicana and local malts. There is also a Limited Edition bottled beer; ‘Tradition with Ambition’, a 7.8% beer which was brewed over 10 years ago and has been maturing in bottle, ready to celebrate the 150th  anniversary. ‘Tradition with Ambition’ is also the theme running through Batemans new marketing strategy.

Jaclyn Bateman said “We are very proud of our past, and are looking forward to future challenges and successes; ‘Tradition with Ambition.’”

A new celebratory sparkling wine, 5G Blanquette de Limoux, has also been specially sourced from France, to add to the Batemans’ wine merchant’s, Ridlingtons, range.

Five Generations, (5G) is to celebrate five generations of the Bateman’s brewing family. Stuart and Jaclyn are the present guardians of the family brewery, with Stuart’s children presently training at other breweries in preparation for carrying on the tradition.

On the brewing side, the new brewer, Buster Grant, is recommissioning the Victorian Brewhouse which has not been used for over twenty years. It is planned that the Victorian Brewhouse will be used for collaboration brews with Blue Monkey and Buxton Brewery, who are planning their 15th year anniversary. Stuart said “Brewing is the backbone of our business, and we are looking forward to brewing new beers and collaborating with other breweries.”

The main launch will be at a brewery staff party, at which each member of staff will be presented with a commemorative plate, similar to the one presented to all staff when Batemans fought off hostile approaches to take them over in the late 1980s. Long Service awards will also be presented to 27 members of staff, who have an average of 30 years service each, the longest being 47 years.

Batemans has had a somewhat chequered history, coming through two World Wars, recessions, the keg beer ‘revolution’, a family dispute, being forced to sell off its free trade due to bank interest pressures, and more recently, Covid. Now the business is in as strong a position as it has ever been and looking forward to 2024 and the introduction to the business of the fifth generation.

The celebrations will be in association with the charities, LIVES and Derbyshire, Skegness Children’s Home.