East of England Co-op adds Equal Brewkery to its Sourced Locally range

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Beer brewed by people with learning disabilities has hit the shelves of eight East of England Co-op stores across Norfolk.

Equal Brewkery, a Norwich-based community interest company, has been added to the retailer’s Sourced Locally range.

The Brewkery supports people with learning disabilities to gain valuable work experience and practical skills through brewing and baking. The participants make and sell high quality beer and bread, and any profits are invested back in to support further training and employment opportunities.

The East of England Co-op will be stocking Equal Brewkery’s Golden Ale in its stores in Costessey, Dereham Road, Gorleston, Long Stratton, Spixworth, Earlham Green, Acle and Harleston.

Niall O'Keeffe, Joint Chief Executive from the East of England Co-op commented: “Our Sourced Locally range is not only about supporting local suppliers and championing their produce, but equally about supporting our local communities. As a Co-operative, this is something we are passionate about and partnering with Equal Brewkery has enabled us to do both of those things. The beers are available in our stores now and I encourage customers to buy a bottle or two to help support a fantastic organisation.”

The Brewkery was formed in 2016 by founder Bill Russell who wanted to give people living with learning disabilities and brain injuries the tools to be independent. Bill was inspired to set up the organisation after he suffered a stroke. He met people living with brain injury and disability and wanted to provide support and help to people with additional needs.

He said: “Our students are thrilled to see their beer hitting the shelves of eight East of England Co-op stores. It shows them just how valuable and useful their skills are which is what we’re all about. We couldn’t have achieved this without our team of fantastic volunteers. We are delighted with the support from the Co-op and look forward to many more people getting the chance to taste our ‘beer for good’.”

Any money raised through the sale of the beer goes straight back into the community interest company to support more people. For more information about Equal Brewkery visit https://www.equalbrewkery.org.uk/.