Friday, November 16, 2018

The future of Mad Dog Brewing Co...

Well believe me this is one post that is quite different that i almost wrote just last week.

Let's just say the past few months for the brewery have been extremely difficult financially, mentally and physically. Things are now changing for the good..

Let's reflect.

As some may already know i started the brewery in August 2014 after constructing my own brew kit and brewing just one firkin (40 litres) at a time. In January 2015 i moved into a small industrial unit and had the money to invest in a 100 litre brew kit which then allowed me to brew 2 firkins at a time. 
It was a very hard slog brewing 7 days a week and brewing twice a day. Who'd believe that for me to complete a pallet of casks for wholesale it would take 9 brews to do this instead of today's less than 1 complete brew! 

Anyway, demand got great that i sought finance in the way of a loan from the Welsh Assembly Government to help me with expanding the brewery to a new brew house and have a new brewery installed. This saw brewing capacity go from 100 litres to 1000 litres by December 2015.
Since then i have continued to grow the brewery employing more staff and buying more tanks as well as new equipment for the brewery whilst even to this very day paying myself very little or nothing at all.
Fast forward to this year where i have been faced with many challenges such as finding the right person to fit a sales role, opening our first ever pub in Caerleon, employing 6 brand new staff as well as customers we supplied with beer either going bust or simply just not paying up and going into hiding. 
This past two months has been more than just a roller coaster of emotions as well as thoughts as to where to take the brewery. Taking on so much single hand is no job for any human being and this is what i have tried to do. It came to a point that just last week i had almost decided to call it day with Mad Dog and completely walk away from the industry too. Yeh let's face it, for any business there is a level of stress and sleepless nights. Heck, i can't even remember where i went to bed at a suitable hour and slept all night! Well, let's face it, for anybody who has experience with the beer industry, it is very challenging to say the least.
Over the past few months i have gained a new friend who coincidentally has a passion for business and an even bigger passion for good quality beer. After many discussions to say the least, it was decided between us both to form a joint partnership for the brewery. This is to share the more important decisions and hopefully half the stress as well as investing in the brewery with a solid plan for the coming future for the business.
I would like to Welcome Lee Dunning as not only a new director to the brewery but as somebody who genuinely has a real passion for beer and is keen to get stuck in as much as the rest of the team.

We have a stack of plans which i will tell all about come the end of this year. But for now, Well, we will be starting by doubling the size of the brewery from 6BBL to 12BBL which will allow us to brew a maximum of 47BBL (10,340 litres in laymens terms) a week if required.

From feeling very low to finding the point to push on and battle against the worst can be extremley hard when all you can see is mist in your eyes. I'm not one for just giving up. 

We have a fantastic team of people here at the brewery. I am extremely proud of every single crew member we have. 
Anyway, i've rambled on too much. Very exciting things are about to happen with the brewery in the way we do things. Watch this space!

Mad Dog Founder & MD.


  1. It’s great to hear of a successful business venture doing so well after all the challenges you have had to endure, good to hear you are not giving up.
    Good luck in your new partnership

  2. I know how hard you work Al - and you deserve the success you’re now seeing. It’s been a long hard slog...but I’m convinced you’re onto a winner. Many more firkins to come !!!

    Ian D

  3. Al, gutted to hear you got to such a low point but super excited for the next Mad Dog chapter. Look forward to hearing about all the new plans. See you at the brewery bar soon. Mark.

  4. Keep going mate it will be worth it in the end. I totally understand your plight. When I set up Surfing Monkey I was in the same position and I am still hoping one day to take the next step and go big. With 2 small children however it wasn't the right time for me. For what its worth its sounds like you are now moving in the right direction and I'm sure things will start to become easier. Take care mate and keep in touch. Lee ( Surfing Monkey Brewery)

  5. So glad you have found a good team to share the load <3 . Keep on and keep well with big love from the North!

  6. Hi Alexis. From one of your loyal customers at The Doghouse, I am very pleased to know that you have managed to resolve what has clearly been a very difficult time for you. Onward & upwards! I look forward to the next batch of marmalade IPA! Colin

  7. Brilliant news. Hope this means Mad Dog gets madder and badder (in a good way). Cheers Trev Pop'n'Hops

  8. you should be very proud of what you've achieved buddy, you've worked extremely hard over the last 4 years an deserve everything that comes your way, profits, self satisfaction and a sense of achievement. I wish you well for the future and hope the business goes from strength to strength wishes to you and Ceri.

  9. As I’ve know Mr Dunning for a while now, I have no doubt that he can help you build the business and turn it into thriving brewery. He a top bloke and a great businessman ( just watch him on the taste testing session��) Good Luck!! Martyn