WEST brewery boss Petra Wetzel to step down

The founder of the popular brewery and pub is stepping back from running the day to day business.

What’s happening? A new managing director, Matt Munro, will take over at West from 1 September. Matt is the company’s sales director, but from next month will assume overall responsibility for the strategic, operational, sales and marketing functions of the business.

Why it matters: Founder Petra Wetzel has been the driving force behind WEST since it launched in 2006 with its strict adherence to Germany’s 500-year-old Reinheitsgebot purity standards, which allow only the four core ingredients of water, malt, hops and yeast.

There were accusations last year from former staff about job losses, with one claiming he was let go following a Black Lives Matter tweet.

Also last year, WEST Brewery responded to a tweet asking if they'd still be supplying Wetherspoons, after owner Tim Martin's actions and comments to staff during the start of the coronavirus crisis.

The West Brewery team replied saying that they would rather ‘sweep the streets’ than do business with Wetherspoons chairman Tim Martin. This reply went viral and lead to news and TV coverage, something that Petra found amusing.

Speaking to the Scotsman, she said; “It’s funny because that should never have made the news,” she explained. “It was a very private decision that we made when he (Tim Martin) basically told all his staff while going find a job in Tesco. The man is just...I have no words actually, he lives on a different planet for me clearly.

“One of our followers, a guy with maybe less than 200 followers, contacted us on Twitter asking asking an honest question - if we would consider that (no longer supplying Wetherspoons) and I said we’ve already decided on that. I was busy packing boxes of beer for delivery and didn’t think for a minute that one little answer to a man’s tweet would end up in STV news.”

What is WEST? ‘Glaswegian heart, German head’ is the ethos behind West, the brewer launched in 2006 by Petra Wetzel. The brewery has a growing line of German inspired beers, and supplies bars all over Scotland, and its beer hall is a popular spot on Glasgow Green thanks, in part , to its huge beer garden.

Of the new appointment Petra said; “After 13 years at the helm of WEST I have made the decision to step away from the day to day running of the beerhall and brewery business to allow me to dedicate more time to projects both connected and unconnected to the core WEST business. I will retain my shareholding in the business and will continue to assist the team in an advisory capacity.”