Charles Wells Ltd has successfully combined 130 years of brewing and pub retailing with a genuine spirit of innovation and enterprise.
It has evolved to become one of the market leaders in both areas and is recognised for embracing change to remain competitive, yet retain independence, by both the trade and consumers alike.
Five Generations Of Wells’
Formed by Charles Wells in 1876 and originally located in Horne Lane, Bedford, the company moved to its current location at the Eagle Brewery a century later. Having seen five generations pass, three Wells family members remain actively involved in shaping the company’s future; Paul Wells (Chairman), Tom Wells (Vice Chairman) and Peter Wells (Pub Company Sales & Marketing Director).
Charles Wells established an award winning portfolio of brands, including; Wells Bombardier English Premium Bitter, Wells Eagle IPA, Red Stripe Jamaica Lager Beer, and Kirin Ichiban, the renowned Japanese lager. In addition, it became the sole UK distributor of Corona Extra, the world’s 4th largest beer brand. Following a joint venture with the brewing division of Young’s plc in October 2006, a new company was formed – Wells & Young’s Brewing Company Ltd – with the overall portfolio now incorporating the Young’s brands, including Young’s Special, Young’s Bitter, Waggledance and Ram Rod.
Growth Through Quality
Charles Wells’ commitment to growing top quality brands is typified by the remarkable growth of Wells Bombardier English Premium Bitter, in a highly competitive market, from a regional ale to “one of Britain’s biggest selling premium cask beers”(Source: 2004 edition of the ‘Good Beer Guide’). This commitment also extends to its lager portfolio. Having brewed Red Stripe Jamaica Lager Beer since 1976, Charles Wells continues to develop innovative marketing plans for the brand which has resulted in significant sales and distribution growth.
The company continues to invest in its brands and has been described thus; “Charles Wells has transformed itself into an innovative, brand focussed, sales driven company.” (Mark Stretton, ’The Publican’ newspaper).
Internationally, Charles Wells exports to over 40 countries, an achievement that was marked by Charles Wells receiving the ‘Queen’s Award for Export Achievement’ in 1997. Furthermore, the company has pub retail developments and partners throughout Europe.
A Track Record Of Innovation
An ongoing commitment to New Product Development is at the heart of the company’s future. This, balanced with regular consumer market research, a policy of listening keenly to trade customers’ requirements and close observation of consumer trends, allows Charles Wells to retain a leading market position. Examples of innovations brought to the market by Charles Wells include; fresh real ale in a mini-cask for the off-trade, illuminated dispense for smooth-flow ales, shaped cans and the ever-popular Wells Banana Bread Beer.