Few entrepreneurs represent the essence of the up-and-coming international hub of Crawley in the way that father and son team Chris and Simon Tripp do. In combining their passion for the aviation industry and their love of craft beer and art deco, they opened Wingtip Brewery near Gatwick Airport.
Chris (dad) is a flight simulator expert and Simon has worked in the specialty beers and spirits sector for the past 17 years. Inspired by an art-deco building housing the oldest municipal airport in the UK, and hearing its light aircraft taking off to the skies above their home town of Shoreham-by-Sea, their pilot project was to invent a better class of lager, using only natural ingredients and no additives.
The pilot pilsner ‘The Captain’ was perfected by Simon through multiple brew kits and experimentation. He travelled tirelessly to Pilsner breweries in the Czech Republic and Germany in search of the ultimate technique and ingredients. ‘The Captain’ evolved into the now famous Wingtip Pils, which is brewed in Hampshire with their good friends at Andwells Brewery in Hook.
Chris and Simon have also added a blonde cask ale to their range: Autopilot 3.9% and Frequent Flyer which is a sessionable 4.0%, easy drinking style lager – these are only available in cask and keg respectively.
Wingtip’s head-office’ is in Gatwick Airport. It resides among its numerous fellow crew members in the air travel industry, and journeys all over the world. This 1st-class Pilsner can now be found in just some of the following outlets, although they are found in select restaurants and bars throughout the UK:
Business Development Manager, Ian Lane, told the Oswestry Life “My remit is to grow our profile across the South of England first, then UK wide”. “With my roots originally in Oswestry I have decided to launch a short haul flight into Oswestry and speaking with major players in the town with a view to extending our contacts across Shropshire”.
“We look forward to visiting Oswestry again during the weekend of the 16th February where we are proud to sponsor the TNS v Dumbarton match at The Venue”. “We encourage your readers to come down to the game where we will be giving away free glassware when they buy Wingtip, Krombacher and Avalon”.
Wingtip is an avid supporter of the charity Aerobility, where they continue to support them each year at Aviator’s Ball at Heathrow T5. They also host a number of events such as Open Cinema and pop-ups around the country where their Frequent Flyer passengers enjoy drinking their quality beer and posing in their custom-made Wingtip airline seats.
The other side of Wingtip is their distribution we are also Southern Distributors for other European Beers such as BeerCat from Barcelona, Pang Pang from Sweden and Krombacher from Germany. On the quirky side, they have just launched Pang Pang Shower Beer, a unique beer which can be enjoyed in the shower and used to condition your hair.
In essence, Wingtip is first and foremost a brewer, but also an exclusive distributor of new and exciting artisan beers from all around the world.