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Interview with Jonathan Hughes, Great Orme Brewery, Llandudno

Written by zoo_visitor_guest / Thursday 4th February 2016 / IONizers - interviews with our delegates

Great Orme Brewery, Llandudno

Can you introduce yourself?

I’m Jonathan Hughes, Managing Director of the Great Orme Brewery on Builder Street in Llandudno.

How did the business start?

I was a Consultant for 10 years and the company I worked for was moving into an area away from my core skills.  I therefore took the opportunity to leave and move back to North Wales and back to the family farm.  I had limited knowledge of brewing but I knew people were very interested in understanding the origins of where their food and drink came from.  At the time there were only three local breweries in North Wales and the idea came from there.  Our business over time has expanded and we recently moved from the farm to the building we are in now. 


What will 2016 bring?

2016 will hopefully bring continued growth.  Since 2014 we have had a 60% increase in turnover.  Post expansion, we have seen growth in our newly developed Snowdon craft larger and bottled ale and lager sales and this should continue to increase over the coming year.   As part of the strategy to achieve this we are currently recruiting a Sales Manager.  In the past we have allowed production to drive growth and we are now trying to convert to a sales driven business.

In parallel, being in Llandudno has given us the opportunity to open a shop and bar/tasting area together with a function room.  We wanted to make a presence in the town and with the community.  There is a long history of brewing being involved with the local community in towns across the UK and I believe we can help develop this kind of link in Llandudno.   


What does a day in your life look like?

I think as we have grown the role has developed and changed.  Six months ago my role was ‘jack of all trades and master of none’.   I would be solving various issues and tasks day to day; finance production and delivery.  It varied day to day.

As the business has grown I have become more strategic.  I am putting in place, Sales, Logistics and Brewing Mangers and have transferred many responsibilities.   I can now say that I’m “working on the business not in the business”.   This involves getting staff to undertaking more of the operational tasks and ensuring they have adequate support during the transitional period.  Secondary, I am one of four microbreweries that have come together to buy the Albion and The Bridge in Conwy and the Australia pub in Porthmadog (along with Lawrence from Purple Moose Brewery, who also attended the LEAD Wales programme) this pub retail business is growing both in size and complexity and therefore takes up an increasing proportion of my time. Hence, the need to delegate is becoming increasingly important.    

How can we find out more?

Call: Jonathan at The Great Orme Brewery 01492 330 680

Take a look at our website:


Twitter: @welsh_ale

Read more amazing business growth stories in our Testimonials page!