Beer hawk
BEER SPACE: Pictured (L to R) are founder and director, Chris France, with Wharfedale Property Management director, Tim Munns, in the new unit at Thorp Arch Estate which the online retailer will occupy from this summer

Beer Hawk moves from Harrogate to Wetherby in search for bigger premises


One of Yorkshire’s fastest-growing businesses, which has expanded from a £150,000 turnover three years ago to a projected £10m this year, is the latest company to re-locate to Thorp Arch Estate.

Online beer distributor, Beer Hawk is taking 12,216 sq ft in Unit 16 of a new 37,276 sq ft speculative scheme at Ash Way to relocate its warehouse operation from Saltergate Business Park, Harrogate, on a 15-year lease.

Beer Hawk was founded in 2012 by beer lovers Chris France and Mark Roberts who are directors. The company, which has grown from two to 20 staff, sources 500 of its own selection of the world’s best beers from 25 different countries, including several craft beers from microbreweries in Yorkshire, and provides next-day delivery to homes throughout the UK.

The Beer Hawk deal means that two thirds of the 37,276 sq ft scheme at Ash Way is now pre-let, with biotechnology company Avacta Group Plc, which relocated to Thorp Arch Estate six years ago, taking 12,800 sq ft for new office and laboratory space.

Beer Hawk, which started with a conversation about the quality of beers which can easily be bought and drunk at home, takes its name from hunting out the world’s best beers and also runs a beer club. The company started in 500 sq ft at Hammerain House, Harrogate, and the move to the Thorp Arch Estate will be its fourth expansion and relocation in four years.

Chris France says:

Thorp Arch Estate will be an ideal base for us because of the quality of the new premises, which is being especially reconfigured for us, including a beer tasting bar; the capacity to expand and the estate’s proximity to the motorway network for next-day deliveries.

The capacity to expand nearby on the estate was also attractive if we continue to grow as projected. We plan to invest millions of pounds into the company in the next few years, including creating 30 new jobs. We also plan to expand our selection of the world’s best beers to 800 and so we will need space for more pallets.

Beer Hawk’s relocation follows the letting of a new purpose-built 62,925 unit to drinks distributor, Matthew Clark Wholesale Ltd, which is re-locating from Dunnginton, near York and is due to move in this summer.

Director of Wharfedale Property Management Ltd, which manages the estate for owner, Rockspring Hanover Property Unit Trust, Tim Munns, says:

Attracting Beer Hawk is another significant coup for us and vindicates the decision to invest in further speculative units.

The success of this scheme and continuing demand has enabled us to submit a further planning application to Leeds City Council for an additional 48,000 sq ft of space in four units of 6,000 sq ft and two of 12,000 sq ft.

The two-million sq ft Thorp Arch Estate is base for a diverse range of more than 150 businesses, from start-ups to large Plcs, operating in local, national and international markets and employing more than 1,800 people. Thorp Arch Retail Park, which forms part of the estate, was the first out-of-town shopping centre in the country when it opened in 1959 and is complemented by a variety of leisure facilities.

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