Apex Brewery submits bid for new premises near Sherborne

PLANS have been submitted for a new brewery at Sandford Orcas.

The Apex Brewery, founded by Alex Ferris, has applied to Dorset Council for permission to develop disused agricultural land at Patson Hill Farm to create a brewery, including the brewing area, production, packing and canning lines, a cold store and plant room.

It would allow the the firm to expand, the application says, as its customer base grows.

“Head brewer, Alex Ferris, began home brewing 14 years ago, back in 2009, a challenge that was taken on due to being served beer from a pub that had not been well looked after,” it said.

Since then, she has become a certified, prize-winning brewer and founded the Apex Brewery, which serves a number of nearby pubs, including The Mitre Inn at Sandford Orcas and The Digby Tap in Sherborne.

“The proposed new brewery will give Alex and Apex Brewery the room required to continue growing and creating a greater range of beers and expanding their business to serve the local area and beyond,” the application went on.

It said expanding the customer base and establishing online can sales would provide benefits for the business and the surrounding area.

How the new Apex Brewery building could look, if plans are approved. Picture: Rose Engineering/Dorset Council

How the new Apex Brewery building could look, if plans are approved. Picture: Rose Engineering/Dorset Council

“With the planned expansion of the business, Apex Brewery will be recruiting staff in the local area,” it said.

“Employment will include production staff, marketing and sales and assistant brewing staff. An estimated six new jobs will be created during the first year of production.”

It said the firm hopes to be “sustainable in its development” and of mixed use, with animals including chickens, guinea fowl, ducks, bees and a polytunnel of vegetables being maintained on the site.

“The brewery aims to be sustainable in its development, with the hope it will be able to support the beef farm adjacent to the site for whole-farm regeneration,” the application said.

The style of the development is “influenced by traditional agricultural building design with a modern twist”, the application explained, with ecology on the site set to be boosted.

For more details on the plans, log on to and search for application reference P/FUL/2023/03661.

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I am the editor in chief of Blackmore Vale media, which includes the New Blackmore Vale, New Stour & Avon, Salisbury & Avon Gazette and the Purbeck Gazette, having been a reporter for some 20 years. In my spare time, I am a festival lover, with a particular focus on Glastonbury. I live in Somerset with my wife and two children.