Andrew’s brewing success in wake of lockdown


Andrew Traynor’s obsession with brewing came after friends at university bought him his first home brewing kit. Quickly developing his skills, Andrew ordered more equipment, began listening to beer related podcasts and bought every book he could find to learn as much as possible.

Clear that this was a career path for him, Andrew landed a job in a Cardiff brewery where he learnt a lot more about beer and the industry whilst working his way up to Wholesale Manager. During this time he developed planning brewing schedules, managed orders, built relationships with key wholesalers and enjoyed the fun bit of managing and attending beer festivals.

In partnership with university friend Arran McHugh, the duo invested in a high quality homebrew kit and began brewing in Arran’s garage, where they developed their first three beers and Flowerhorn Brewery was born.

I enjoy the creative freedom I have at work and enjoy seeing my work translate into business growth

How Start Up Loans supported Andrew to build up the brewery

In 2019 Andrew and Arran were ready to launch, but with limited finances they had to initially do this through gypsy brewing, allowing them to get the beers out in to the market without a large capital investment. After gathering feedback, tweaking recipes and monitoring sales data, they approached Business in Focus to help secure a Start Up Loan of £15,000 each.

The loan was used to purchase equipment and move into their own unit enabling them to develop their own taproom space. Along with the loan, Andrew and Arran had access to expert support from Business Advisor, Steve Hammond to help them build on their dream business idea, which allows them to work creatively in an industry which they are passionate about.

Steve Hammond was massively helpful throughout the whole process. He had a genuine interest in our business and gave us advice on how best to present our business plan

Success in challenging times

Despite drawing down the loans amidst a pandemic, Andrew and Arran were able to expand into their own industrial unit and build their very own brewery. This meant that they could future-proof the business by taking control of the whole production process, adapt the business to offer a home delivery service in lockdown, get their brand in front of more people at local markets and open a taproom to serve beers directly to the consumer. There is a lot in the pipeline that they really can’t wait to launch after making the most of collaboration opportunities.

Working with other breweries limited our control of the production, a Start Up Loan helped us overcome that barrier”

What next for Flowerhorn Brewery?

We are aiming to be one of the most recognised breweries in Wales and are working to help grow the under-represented Cardiff beer scene. We are collaborating with our neighbours at The Bridge Studios to be create one of the best venues for beer, wine and street food in Cardiff. We’re currently open every Friday and Saturday with great food from Mr Croquewich, Relish Co, Ty Caws and Roast Busters with Vin Van open as a specialist wine bar and we’re serving the pints!

Demand has increased exponentially since the easing of lockdown, so we are already beginning to look at purpose built options for the next expansion. Flowerhorn Brewery is just weeks away from receiving a new line, launching a nationwide online store and looking to collaborate with some of our favourite breweries, food and drink producers, and musicians to create a diverse range of beers throughout the year.

What is a Start Up Loan? 

A Start Up Loan is a government-backed personal loan available to individuals over 18 years old looking to start or grow a business in the UK. The main goal of the Start Up Loans scheme is to ensure that viable start-ups have access to the finance and support they need in order to thrive.

If you receive a loan, we will then support you through your journey, providing you with your business mentor for 12 months from the date of receiving your loan. Start Up Loans are available for businesses yet to launch or those that have been trading for up to 24 months.

Find out more about a Start Up Loan and apply online