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22nd February 2012


A South Yorkshire brewery has toasted spiralling demand for its award winning cask ales as it gets set for future growth.
Last month Barnsley’s Acorn Brewery enjoyed a spike in sales of 15 per cent on like-for-like trade in 2011, with a record 400 plus brewer’s barrels despatched. This followed a 12 per cent boost in festive sales and a  rise of 18 per cent overall last year.
Now the sales team has been strengthened with the appointment of David Broadhead as sales manager. With a successful sales and financial services background in roles across the UK, David will support the management team in building the business to the next level. He joins the Wombwell brewer after three years with Business Link Yorkshire, working with both new and established small companies.
Acorn’s core portfolio has also been expanded with Yorkshire Pride (3.7%abv) added to meet demand for blonde beers, while a fifth ‘single hop’ range of IPA (India Pale Ale) specials, using American hops, is on offer. The fifty plus record-setting monthly brews have boosted sales since 2007.
And in key strategic move for nine-year-old Acorn, last summer founders Dave and Judi Hughes made a major investment to reopen the historic Old No 7 pub in Barnsley as the ‘brewery tap’, creating six jobs.

This followed brewery investment in of 50-barrel-capacity fermenting unit and cold store to develop off-trade sales. Bottled beers are now listed with major retailers, including Tesco, Asda, Waitrose, Asda and Yorkshire’s Rhythm & Booze chain.
Acorn now directly supplies more than 400 pubs in the North and delivers regularly to London, while business grows with independent chain pub J D Wetherspoon and leading pub companies. This success reflects the burgeoning market for craft cask-conditioned ale (see Cask Report 2011*) as discerning beer drinkers snub global brands.
Proprietor and head brewer Dave Hughes said: “More and more young people and women are enjoying beers with quality and provenance. Our monthly IPA specials are a good example – landlords take them to give their customers beers with flavour.
“Opening the Old No 7 pub was a significant move to boost our profile in Barnsley and we have seen strong growth in the local area over recent months. Despite the troubled economy and pubs facing escalating costs and tax we are committed to further growth and David will play a central role in our plans.”

Ends/ref Acorn 95- business grows  

Note to editors:

Acorn has won more than forty consumer and trade accolades while SIBA (Society of Independent Brewers) has twice praised the brewer in its annual business awards.

Acorn was launched in 2003 by former chef Dave Hughes and his wife Judi. Production of Barnsley Bitter began on 4th July, using the same yeast strain as the original Barnsley Brewery of the 1850’s. This is now integral to the distinctive Yorkshire character of all Acorn brands which now include Barnsley Gold, Old Moor Porter, Sovereign,, Acorn Blonde, Yorkshire Pride and Gorlovka Imperial Stout which took a top accolade at the Camra National Winter Ales Festival in January 2012.

In 2007, with rising sales and an expanding brands portfolio, a major investment moved the brewery into a bespoke 20-barrel-plant on Aldham Industrial Estate, doubling production capacity to 100 barrels a week.

**The industry backed  annual Cask Report ( points to the growing following for cask among young people, females and the more affluent – discrediting the ‘cloth cap’ image – as people become more discerning, rejecting bland global brands to choose craft beers with real provenance.

For further media information contact: Steve Hobman, Rhino Public Relations: 01829 250502 or 07751 578605. email: or g