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9th November 2017

Butcombe acquires 8 pubs from SA Brain

The Boards of Liberation Group, the owners of Butcombe Brewery, and SA Brain have reached agreement on the sale of eight English pubs owned and operated by SA Brain to Butcombe for an undisclosed sum. These pubs make up most of the pubs that SA Brain has successfully owned and operated in England.


The eight high quality pubs include six managed sites (Smoking Dog in Malmesbury, Bear in Cirencester, Bowl in Almondsbury (includes 11 bedrooms), Ostrich in Bristol, Jubilee in Flax Bourton and White Horse in Buckover) and two tenanted pubs (Langford in Lower Langford and Old Station in Hallatrow). Seven of these pubs are freehold and one leasehold.


Butcombe has been highly acquisitive building its business in the West Country – more than doubling its pub estate over the last year. In addition to purchasing high quality pubs, Butcombe is also investing in the Butcombe Brewery, expanding their range of beers to include innovative new beers such as Pioneer, and upgrading their infrastructure with a new distribution depot and kegging & bottling line. Including this latest acquisition, the Butcombe pub estate now numbers 43 and further advances Butcombe’s strategy of becoming the leading West Country regional brewer and pub owner.


SA Brain plan to focus their future licensed retail operations within Wales where they will continue to operate around 100 Managed Houses and a Leased and Tenanted estate totalling over 70 pubs.  Brains also remain highly acquisitive outside of Wales through their Coffee#1 brand which recently saw the addition of an 83rd site in Plymouth, South Devon. An announcement regarding a move to a new brewery site in Cardiff is expected in the near future.


Mark Crowther, CEO of Liberation Group said:

“The addition of these eight high quality pubs to our portfolio further accelerates the growth of our rapidly expanding pub estate, strengthening our presence in our heartland around Bath and Bristol. These pubs are a perfect fit with our existing portfolio and will benefit from ownership by our fast growing, market leading regional brewery with its well-known brands. We welcome all those who work in those pubs and look forward to building a successful future together.”

Scott Waddington, CEO of SA Brain said:

“The sale of our English pubs is well timed given the outstanding prospects we have to further grow our brand and pubs business in Wales. The rich affection with which our brand is held has further solidified our conviction to pursue our pub agenda inside Wales. We will remain very proud of the period of ownership we have enjoyed with the pubs that are being acquired by Butcombe and believe the team, with their West Country heartland, are well placed to take these businesses forward.”



About Butcombe Brewery


Butcombe Brewing Company was founded in 1978 and has been an icon of the real beer movement ever since. With an ever-expanding estate of 43 pubs, Butcombe Brewing Co. now forms part of the Liberation Group, it is moving into a new, exciting phase of its journey, expanding its beer and cider range as well as its Pubs and Inns estate. Following the latest acquisitions, The Liberation Group now has a 115-strong pub estate across South West England and the Channel Islands.



Butcombe Brewing Co.                                                          Tel: 01934 864898

Emmy Webster, Butcombe Brewing Co. Marketing Manager


Instinctif Partners (for Butcombe)                                      Tel: 0207 457 2020

Matthew Smallwood / Henry Conner


SA Brain and Co Ltd.                                                                Tel: 02920 334762

Tim Lewis, PR and Communications Manager