Meet the brewery teaching people with disabilities to brew great beer

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Alex Naylor

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Xander Data Analyst Alex was part of the team of Associates who were involved in one of our social enterprise projects that focuses on training individuals with physical and neurological diversities to brew amazing beer. The team provided support with the planning of a potential new location in Liverpool, and Alex has shared his experiences.

 

Making a difference

One of the reasons why I applied to the Xander Academy is because of the links they have with charities who are making a real difference. As part of the training process, Associates are assigned to a social enterprise project, giving them exposure to a challenge that consultants might face in the real world.

My team and I partnered with Ignition Brewery who are a purpose driven business that hires people of physical and neurological diversity. The Ignition members brew beers locally and serve them in their Sydenham taproom.

 

The Brewery Bunch

Due to the success of their current taproom, Ignition are now looking to expand their business. Aptly named the Brewery Bunch, we conducted a product review and location strategy to scope out a new home for their taproom in Liverpool.

We initially decided to split off into two teams; one worked on the product review while the other worked on the location strategy. The product review team conducted breakeven and cost analysis using Excel while the location strategy team got in contact with authorities in the Liverpool region about potential locations.

These discussions led to the Brewery Bunch hosting meetings with charities such as MenCap and having lengthy discussions with Sefton Council. Liverpool Mencap are currently in the process of developing a diverse space in Crosby for its members. In these meetings we discussed potential synergies between Mencap and Ignition such as a trial Ignition day hosted at the Mencap space.

This experience has been thoroughly enjoyable and insightful. The thing I have enjoyed about it the most is working on a real life consulting project. This has given the team invaluable insight which could not have been obtained from case study training.

 

Long lasting change

Starting my career in a virtual environment has made it difficult to socialise with fellow Xander Associates. Working closely together on a project has strengthened the bond between us, whilst making long lasting social change.

I have learnt considerable amounts through the process of applying theory techniques to the Ignition project. This complements the overall Xander training as it offers a diverse alternative to mainstream learning techniques.

Nothing feels better than gaining news skills and making a positive social impact at the same time. Both of these boxes have been ticked during the Xander training process, hence making the training well-rounded, long-lasting and effective.

At the time of writing the Brewery Bunch are making significant progress in making the Liverpool dream a Reality, and I look forward to writing my next blog post about the taproom opening!