Huddersfield-based Zapato Brewery taps into further growth through investment and refurbishment
Boasting its very own tap room, beer garden and ‘Zottleshop’ at the Huddersfield HQ – along with a wealth of exclusive experiences – Zapato has been complementing the community’s budding craft ale scene since its transition to the area in 2017.
Zapato’s riverside space within a former textile mill has undergone a huge transformation in a bid to provide a tranquil environment for the expanding workforce — as well as the growing population of visiting beer fanatics.
The renovation work was undertaken by Zapato’s own team and local tradespeople, with company founder Matt Gorecki spearheading the operation from initial design through to physical build.
Speaking on the refurbishment, Matt said “A tap room is essential to the modern brewery – we needed a change so that we could produce our beer on site and foster a memorable experience for the hundreds of customers that cross our threshold each week.
“We were keen to revive the space and give it a new lease of life while staying true to its roots as a Victorian mill — employing sustainable building products and methods to remain as authentic as possible, while utilising the skills and expertise of local tradespeople. In the process of knocking down stud walls, we exposed some original panelling and panes of glass — which we decided to leave uncovered in a nod to the structure’s rich history.
“The location is great for us because it’s situated between Leeds and Manchester with great transport links and has a community that’s really engaged and growing. We have a flowing river in our beer garden, and acres more land complete with a flourishing vegetable patch and grazing ponies — it’s such a beautiful spot. Some of our own produce has even been infused with wild yeast and locally foraged fruit, closely tying the place to the products.”
The space has been created with a view to attract people from all walks of life to come and enjoy the idyllic setting. Every weekend, the venue invites local artisans to set up a pop-up food stall and offer their culinary delights to the crowds — which can total 400 people per day.
Commenting on the high-growth period, Matt added: “Coming from very humble beginnings, we’re really proud of the success we’ve had so far. Of course, the past few years have been full of challenges for businesses – many of which still remain – but we haven’t wavered in our support for our colleagues and customers, something that I think has stuck in the minds of many of our followers.
“But we can only accomplish this with a dedicated and knowledgeable team of people working behind the scenes. Our ethos at Zapato is to encourage and nurture employee passion. This not only has a positive impact on staff satisfaction and retention rates but is also important for delivering high-quality customer service.”
As well as further boosting its turnover, the team is looking to expand over the coming months and develop their product range to meet the growing customer demand, as well as align with the company’s growth strategy for the remainder of 2022 and beyond.