THE entrepreneur behind the WEST brewery has begun the process of transferring the business into the ownership of its staff, with the aim of handing it over completely within the next 25 years.

Petra Wetzel, who established the brewery on Glasgow Green 13 years ago, said that the intention of the phased employee ownership scheme is to ensure those who have helped her build the business can share in its success.

“The plan was not to get rich with this - the plan was to prove a point to my dad that people in Glasgow would buy really great lager,” she said.

“I think I’ve proved that point and it’s much more important in life to have a purpose than to have cash.

“I drive a nice car, I live in a nice house and I go on nice holidays; I could buy a private jet, but what’s the point?”

For tax reasons, Ms Wetzel has transferred an initial 10 per cent of the company’s share capital to its employees, with 65 of her 109 staff getting shares worth £3,600.

Each year they will receive another tranche worth the same amount, with new employees who have completed a year’s service also getting a shareholding at that point.

“I’m expecting it to take 25 years for this to complete, Ms Wetzel said. “I hope to have a natural successor who by that point will have a big chunk of the business themselves.”