Will Evans, Co-Founder of Ignition Beer, on creating a community, and valuable job opportunities, for people with learning difficulties.

Continuing our look at disability and employment, Suzy Christopher, Co-Founder, Untapped - our Knowledge Partner for Accelerate - spoke to Will Evans on the genesis and journey of Ignition Beer, a brewery bringing meaningful employment to people with disabilities.

What better motto for a business that makes great tasting craft beer and is staffed by people with learning disabilities, than “More Beer, More Jobs”?


Ignition Beer was founded in 2015 after Will Evan’s co-founder, Nick O’Shea, asked everybody at a club night for people with learning disabilities what they most wanted, and they replied: a job and a relationship. They couldn’t help with the relationship, but they could with the job.


“[There have been] lots of different approaches, different sorts of ventures, endeavours or ideas for how to create meaningful jobs for people with learning disabilities, but none of them have taken root. The level of unemployment for people with disabilities is stubbornly high.”



Ignition Beer

Will Evans, Co-Founder, Ignition Beer



They realised they needed a business where the jobs were learnable, positive, social and aspirational, but most of all, they wanted to create a product that everyone could sell, and which would be in high demand. The answer? Found a brewery and produce craft beer.


“Our core purpose is to create meaningful roles for people with learning disabilities. And we do that through showcasing their talents in the production and serving of fresh, really good quality craft beer.”


“The thing about the taproom, which opened in 2018, was that it gave us that direct link to our community. And that’s what the team has always found most enjoyable and rewarding.”


Listen to Suzy Christopher’s full interview with Will Evans, here.



Ignition Beer

Chris, Barman at Ignition Beer



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