Friends set up new Hartlepool brewery with a Crafty helping hand

Gary Olvanhill and Pat Garrett
Gary Olvanhill and Pat Garrett

Long-time friends Pat Garrett and Gary Olvanhill have turned their love for beer into a successful business.

After working together for 30 years at a local oil refinery, the pair were faced with either taking redundancy or moving to a different plant, and decided to go it alone.

We’ve had 30 years in industry, so manufacturing is second nature to us but everything else is new.

Gary Olvanhill

Based near Hartlepool, Crafty Monkey Brewing Co was born after the pair attended an advice event organised by business support organisation RTC North.

They were introduced to RTC’s Innovate 2 Succeed team, whose David Boath worked with them to develop their idea.

“David from RTC provided us with loads of help including a business development plan, copywriting and business mentoring,” said Gary.

“We’ve had 30 years in industry, so manufacturing is second nature to us but everything else is new.

“When we hit a stumbling block or just need advice David is at the end of the phone, and we feel he has gone that extra mile to help us. Nothing has been a problem for him.”

RTC supported Gary and Pat with almost all aspects of establishing a new business including market research, a business diagnostic, branding, marketing and sales.

“Seeing Crafty Monkey Brewing Co get to where they are now in such a steady and healthy way and being able to contribute to their development has been an incredible experience for myself and my colleagues at RTC,” said David Boath.

“It’s been a fantastic journey taking them upwards.”