One man. A brewery. The miracle.

25.05.21 03:22 PM By Stephanie Nightingale

Written by the UK distributors of Forecast 5, Kipps Business Reporting.

Jester, Olicana, Goldings, Fuggles

Celtic to most of us, but not if you are Welsh. Simon Buckley’s family have been brewing in Wales for 253 years and now he has recovered from a 13-week stay in hospital with COVID-19, Simon intends to lead his brewery for another 10 years at least.


Fine family tradition


Simon Buckley, COVID survivor and Evans-Evans’ leader


“When I started out in September 1976, our head brewer, Jim Bennett gave me two maxims: ‘Make sure that as you walk from the brewery garage to the Brewhouse everyday you stop and talk to the employees, they are the people who will make you a winner, and always remember you are only as good as your last beer brewed. Never ever give up.’”


Slowly Simon and Evans-Evans have returned to health. “It was such a triumph when John, my physiotherapist came and helped me to walk down the steps of my house and along the road. People, some of whom I did not know, stopped to say how glad they were to see me. It was very humbling; I was back from the brink and in the real world.”


And the best part?  “Is to be able to do what I love best, brewing great Welsh beer with the knowledge that the business is running to a strict financial plan, and budget. I can now relax, and every pint I taste is one more than perhaps might have been the case. For that I am eternally grateful.”

Trail Forecast 5 Now
Flavour wins

Back in the days when multinational companies were buying up smaller ones with cheap money, the Buckleys’ lost their old family brewery. “I admit we might have taken our eye off the ball.” Not for long, however: by 2004 Simon was brewing again under the Evans-Evans banner. “It’s a very different industry these days with a greater emphasis on flavour rather than quantity. We produce over 43 different beers per annum with our seasonal beers celebrating the change in season, and special sporting events.”


When accurate stock and cost control became critical, Simon turned to Forecast 5’s Stock on Hand program. “It’s an entrepreneur’s dream: a wonderful piece of software when you get to grips with it. You can look back, look forward and control the whole production process with it.”


Forecast 5 to the rescue

Forecast 5 uses three main stock record types, and all entries via these records initially land up on the balance sheet. Cost components are assembled in a Stock on Hand record – as many as you wish – to build up the budgeted value. These could be raw materials, overheads, wages or whatever other components are involved (including time charges if required). The records differentiate by unit numbers and value, leading to total stock cost and average cost per unit. Sales are linked by units to the Stock on Hand record with appropriate transfers of cost of sales to the profit and loss account.


“I’m not an accountant and I admit that I cursed and swore in the beginning.  Johnny (Kipps, who distributes Forecast 5 in the UK and Europe) was wonderful.  He talked me through it, was always available to help and answer questions and was totally supportive.  I’ve never met them but he and his wife Juliet have become good friends.


“Just under 13 weeks in hospital and losing four and a half stone in weight were some truly dark moments.  There were times when the only option was to give up, and go home to die. There was little doubt that a lot had to be done to survive this virus. All I wanted to do was go home. One of the consultants who is also a friend, said: ‘Simon, if you go home you WILL die.’ I was at my lowest ebb when Ellen, one of the young doctors, came and knelt by the side of my bed and told me that she was there to help me. That was the turning point, and I have not looked back since. I get quite teary just remembering how fantastic the four people who looked after me were.”
Heart of Gold

Simon is so grateful that he has launched a special larger to raise funds for the NHS and NHS charities. Heart of Gold is brewed to produce a crisp refreshing taste, ideal for the summer months and lockdown.


When he began to recover back in January, he began to worry about the business. “I had my laptop with me and what made life a bit easier is that the rest of the industry was also struggling under lockdown.  I wanted to know where we were so I turned to Forecast 5. Thankfully Johnny was on hand to help and as my energy returned, I was able to get the budget built.


Slowly Simon and Evans-Evans have returned to health. “It was such a triumph when John, my physiotherapist came and helped me to walk down the steps of my house and along the road. People, some of whom I did not know, stopped to say how glad they were to see me. It was very humbling; I was back from the brink and in the real world.”

And the best part?  “Is to be able to do what I love best, brewing great Welsh beer with the knowledge that the business is running to a strict financial plan, and budget. I can now relax, and every pint I taste is one more than perhaps might have been the case. For that I am eternally grateful.”

 Try out Forecast 5’s Stock on Hand program with a three-week free trial here and find out more about Evans-Evans’ lagers and ciders.