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17/07/2015

Wales’ largest cider maker set for further expansion following a buy-out funded by Finance Wales

A £500,000 loan from Finance Wales has provided Llantwit Fardre businessman and former welder, Andrew Gronow with the capital to buy-out Gwynt y Ddraig (Gwynt), the brewery he set up as a hobby with his partner William George in 2001.

The cider and perry the pair produced soon won key industry awards and in 2004, with the help of Welsh Government funding and the encouragement of their friends and family, their hobby became a business.

Andrew has since driven Gwynt to win numerous gold, silver and bronze awards.

Gwynt’s gold medal-winning draught and bottled cider has won world acclaim and is now available in 7 countries.  In the UK it is available at Brains and JD Weatherspoon and can also be found on the shelves of Morrisons, Tesco and Waitrose.

“We produce cider in the traditional way at Gwynt y Ddraig and we’re passionate about the flavours we create. We use the best homegrown ingredients and simple recipes to create striking blends.  I’m delighted to be taking over the company and Finance Wales’ loan means I can keep driving the business forward.

“We’ve come a long way at Gwynt y Ddraig since making our first few barrels of cider using an old cider press back in 2001.  I have ambitious plans to continue expanding the brand both at home and abroad and expect to take on more staff over the next few years,” said Andrew Gronow, Managing Director at Gwynt.

Gwynt currently produces around 20 premium cider and perry products, including the famous Orchard Gold and Black Dragon ciders, fruit-based ciders as well as traditional scrumpy and perry. 

They are all made in the traditional way using carefully selected ingredients and freshly pressed British apples at Llest Farm in Llantwit Fardre.
 
Oliver Jenkins, Investment Executive at Finance Wales made the loan to Andrew.  He said: “Andrew has shown remarkable commitment to Gwynt y Ddraig for well over a decade and his determination has turned it into the award-winning Welsh brand it is today.  Gwynt’s blends have created a real impression in the industry and it is now ready for further global expansion.

“Finance Wales’ loan has helped Andrew to buy-out Gwynt y Ddraig and he will now be able to build on the company’s achievements.  His exciting plans for the brand include introducing some exciting new products as well as further global expansion.”

Over the years, Gwynt y Ddraig has established a reputation for experimenting with traditional methods and blends to produce new and unique flavours.  It has also won numerous accolades from the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) as well as 10 gold medals and 2 silver medals at UK championships, the Supreme Champion Cider title and Overall Champion at the International Cider Championships.