Bevcraft founders Darren Fenton and Ciarán Gorman.

Mullingar canning firm opening UK office and doubling workforce

A Mullingar firm that supplies cans to the craft beer sector is set to both double its workforce and open a UK office as part of a new expansion campaign.

Established by Mullingar natives Darren Fenton and Ciarán Gorman in 2016 after they saw a gap in the country's growing craft beer sector, the Bevcraft Group currently supplies a mobile canning service to over 60 craft breweries across the country under the Irish Craft Canning brand.

In addition to canning, the Bevcraft Group has developed specialist can shrink sleeving and wholesale services under the Packsource brand which has made it one of the largest independent processors of cans in Ireland and the UK with volumes expected to hit 3.5m units this year.

Speaking to the Westmeath Examiner, Finance Director and co-founder Ciarán Gorman said that from the outset Bevcraft has sought out international opportunities and today 10 percent of sales come from markets such as the UK, Norway and Switzerland.

Mr Gorman added that while the firm is eager to expand its business in the UK and Europe, he and fellow co-founder Darren Fenton, who is also the Sales and Operations Director, are committed to keeping the headquarters of the operation in Mullingar and plan to create around 10 new jobs in the next two years, most of which will be locally based. The company now employs 11 people.

“The business was established in Mullingar as a means of creating interesting and meaningful employment in our hometown and at the same time providing a useful service for an industry that we are passionate about.

“Local craft breweries such as Dead Centre Brewing in Athlone, 12 Acres Brewing in Laois and St. Mel’s Brewing in Longford are increasingly important in driving tourism, exports and quality jobs into the midlands – there are very few sectors where it is possible to create such interesting businesses and jobs in literally every corner of Ireland,” he said.

The new UK facility is strategically located in St Helen’s less than half an hour from both Liverpool and Manchester. Bevcraft co-founder Darren Fenton says that it will enable the firm to efficiently fulfil orders throughout the UK as well as to ensure supply chain stability for Irish producers in the event of complications arising from Brexit.

“We’ve been supported by passionate and talented brewers across Ireland who are today producing some of the very best craft beer in Europe. It is imperative for the whole industry that we continue to grow the Bevcraft Group to ensure supply chains are protected and new opportunities and services can be developed for the sector.”