Skip to main content
15th October 2015


 150 Ruby Witch jpegLeading Lancashire brewery celebrates 150th milestone


Moorhouse’s  – the much acclaimed ‘Pendle Witches’ brewery – is set to roll out a spellbinding cauldron of cask-ales for a bumper Halloween season ending in a spooktacular beer festival celebration.


As the brewery marks its milestone 150th anniversary, a magical apparition of their award winning brews will strike pubs across the land. This includes a return of special brew Black Cat Reserve (4.6%abv) in cask – which saw a successful inaugural launch last year- and the roll out of Ruby Witch (4.6%abv) a dark ruby full bodied ale with ‘subtle roast flavours and hints of spice and tangerine’ to suit the seasonal mood.


Now Lancashire’s leading cask-ale brewery, Moorhouse’s is again predicting record sales for the witching season. In 2014 sales hit more than 185,000 pints (643 brewer’s barrels) and a £500,000 plus turnover during October as Moorhouse’s increasingly becomes known as THE Halloween brewer.


Ruby Witch will be available nationally to the free trade to underpin Moorhouse’s six core brands- including the new regular White Witch (3.9% abv)  the ‘cult like’ Pendle Witches Brew (5.1%abv), premium Blond Witch (4.5%abv) – and five blended specials.


Black Cat Reserve (BCR) was carefully crafted as premium ale in 2014 to build on the acclaimed lower strength version – a ‘Camra Champion Beer of Britain’.* To be found across the national Punch pub chain it is ‘an intensely dark beer, which conjures deep complex notes of roasted coffee, chocolate and mocha, balanced by hints of dark cherry and blackcurrant from the Polish Junga hop’.


For bottled beers, the biggest ever order over three months has come from Morrisons for Pendle Witches Brew (5.1%abv) and Blond Witch (4.5%abv). And the top selling Pride of Pendle (4.1%abv) has been listed with the Lidl chain for some 50 North West outlets while Black Cat Reserve at 5%abv will be in B&M stores.


One of Burnley’s longest established companies, Moorhouse’s is staging a two day Halloween Festival of Beer on Friday and Saturday October 30 and 31 and a fancy dress event planned on Saturday night to mark its 150th anniversary year. Beer Festival goers will have a chance to taste the Black Cat Reserve along with more than 20 Halloween themed cask ales, including both Moorhouse’s range and several guest ales.


MD David Grant said: “In our milestone 150th anniversary year we will see both our cask and bottled beers cast a spell across the land and we expect record sales as we build on our growing reputation as the brewer of choice for Halloween. In October we are as busy as Christmas. We have eleven witch themed brands available across a range of tastes and strengths from our regular Black Cat as the perfect dark quaffable ale to Pendle Witches Brew and Ruby Witch, ideal for those looking for richer brews.”


A full range of carefully blended special ales are offered throughout the October:  Broomstick Bitter (4.0%abv); Witch Hunt (4.8%abv); Black Witch (4.2%abv); Witches Cauldron (4.2%abv); Witchfinder General (4.4%abv).

Moorhouse’s brands are themed around the witch legend of landmark Pendle Hill near Burnley. Sales have grown year-on-year since the 2011 launch of a £4.5m state-of-the-art brewery in Accrington Road, Burnley where founder William Moorhouse founded his drinks business in 1865.

Ends/Ref: MHPR Halloween 2015 A  

Notes editors:

Halloween celebrations: The beer festival sessions run on Friday from 6pm and Saturday from 12noon until 6pm. The Halloween Party on Saturday starts at 7-30pm. Advance tickets are available on 01282 422864 – £3 entry (£2 Camra members & Friends of Moorhouse’s). Tickets for the Halloween Party are £5 (including a complimentary drink of draught or bottled cider).

Background: Moorhouse’s has won more brewing awards than any other brewer of its size and directly supplies several hundred free trade customers through the North of England  while the brands are also distributed nationally via leading wholesalers and pub companies.* Black Cat was voted Camra (Campaign for Real Ale) Champion Beer of Britain 2000, while Pride of Pendle claimed the Champion Cask Ale title at the Brewing Industry International Awards (BIIA) 2004 and Premier Bitter was voted gold in its class by the BIIA; Pendle Witches Brew was twice runner-up in the Camra annual contest and has received a silver medal at the BI IA. Blond Witch has collected many awards from Camra and SIBA.

For further media information, interviews and images contact: Steve Hobman, Rhino Public Relations on 07751 578605 or