Hop Stuff Brewery has revealed it is looking for sites in the south west of England as it continues its aggressive expansion, managing director James Yeomans has told MCA. 

The brewery, which currently has sites in the south east, recently announced plans to open another six taprooms by the end of 2019, with three on the cards for 2018, as the business looks to capitalise on the popularity of the concept.

Yeomans told MCA he was in talks to acquire some of the 12 Jamie’s Italian sites earmarked for closure. “Luckily I have managed to get the attention of the management team there, and we in the mix,” he said. The sites of interest include: Bristol, Chelmsford, Kingston-upon-Thames and Threadneedle Street in London.

“We are looking at opportunities outside London. One of the areas we are looking at is Bristol, Bath and the west country,” he said, adding: “in 2019 we might look at two of three in key cities in the north as well”.

“With Byron and Jamie’s in a CVA, there are a couple of these big chains that are struggling and we are quite well placed as a small business and a challenger in the casual dining space, as much as in brewing and making beer,” said Yeomans.

“We are actively looking for sites and if there was an opportunity to buy three or four of the Jamie sites in a group or in a single go, then we are quite open and interested in having that conversation,” he said.

“Something we are keen to do as we grow, not necessarily site four, but maybe site five or six, is to do something a little bit further away so we can spread our reach,” he added.

Hop Stuff launched its third crowdfunding campaign, via Crowdcube, on 26 January, which has already surpassed its £400k target, having raised £546,560 with 24 days to go.

Last November Hop Stuff Brewery announced it was to open its third taproom - its first outside London, in Ashford, Kent. It will be located on the former site of Vinnie’s Bar & Club on the town’s Bank Street.