Localism leads the way

Embedding yourself within the community may not seem like the obvious route to success for a modern brewery, but then Palmers has always done its own thing since its birth over two centuries ago.

Palmers winning trio

This year Palmers won not only the Best Community Support award in the Society of Independent Brewers' Business Awards, but also the sole Highly Commended in the Overall Winner category, the latter won by Nottingham's Magic Rock Brewery.

Still in family ownership – brothers John and Cleeves Palmer are actively involved – inspiration on the brewing front comes from local lad Darren Batten.

Based in Bridport, Dorset, often regarded as the gateway to the Jurassic Coast, 17 years ago Palmers donated land worth £1m in today’s prices to the council to build Bridport Leisure Centre. Sport remains a strong theme – Bridport Gig Rowing Club has taken to the water once more thanks to sponsorship from the brewery, and both Lyme Regis and Bridport Football Clubs have similarly benefited. Donations to the local sailing club and enabling the young and those with disability to have have a go too.

Palmers' key involvement was instrumental in  enabling Shipton Gorge villagers to re-open popular local The New Inn as one of the country’s first community pubs. Palmers is also encouraging its licensees to take on apprentices training at nearby Yeovil College. “All of us in the trade know how important it is to find and retain good staff,” explains Palmers’ Tim Woodrow.

Palmers Brewery

For foodies, Palmers joins famous local celebrity chef Mark Hix in backing the Bridport Food Festival every June.

If you want to find out for yourself, as one of Britain's few remaining “tower” breweries, Palmers makes a great visit, and head brewer Darren Batten welcomes school trips too (see the Information tab for more details). You’ll start at the top as do the ingredients before weaving your way down through the building following the brewing process. There’s a chance to taste the ingredients before finishing amid the pomp and glory of the Board Room for a sample of the final product.