For German-born Petra Wetzel, the idea for WEST arrived when her father visited her as a student in Glasgow. He missed one thing more than anything else – German-brewed beer – and Petra was determined to provide the solution.
She didn’t let experience hold her back – despite never having drunk a full pint of lager before founding WEST in 2008, she has continually confounded expectations and grown WEST into an award-winning brewery.
Petra has set her beer apart from the rest produced in the UK by producing it in strict accordance with the traditional German Purity Law, using only water, malt, hops and yeast.
Since its inception, WEST has received accolades from the brewing and hospitality industries, including three German Agricultural Society (DLG) Gold Medals.
Petra’s flagship beer, St Mungo Lager, is now stocked in 100 branches of Waitrose in the UK, as well as in branches of Tesco across Scotland. The West Brewery is now one of the UK’s most successful small breweries with an annual turnover just shy of £10 million, and WEST currently produces more than 300,000 litres of beer a year.
The company’s success has required Petra to open up a second brewery in Glasgow to cope with demand and they now export from Hong Kong to Russia.
Petra’s business card carries a quote from Amelia Earhart: “Never interrupt someone doing what you said could not be done.” Petra and her business will take some interrupting.