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9th April 2015

Independent Regional Brewery Family Business of the Year Finalist


JW Lees are amongst the shortlist for the finalists of the Family Business of the Year Award 2015 in both the food & drink and people’s vote categories.

Manchester-based brewery JW Lees, is celebrating 187 years of family business after being shortlisted for the Family Business of the Year Award 2015. Their nomination sees them going up against eleven other businesses in the North of England, North Wales and North Ireland region category. The awards celebrate the very best of UK business, recognising the diversity of family-run firms and the contributions that they make.

William Lees-Jones, Managing Director at JW Lees, said: “To be shortlisted as a finalist for an award that celebrates family businesses is an honour for us. Family has always been at the heart of JW Lees and we’re proud to be a sixth generation family business.” He added: “We pride ourselves on putting family first and staying true to the longstanding traditions of JW Lees, set in place by the family generations before us.”

JW Lees was founded in 1828 by retired cotton manufacturer John Lees and has since been passed down through six generations of the family. There are currently seven family members who work in the business, all who play an active part in the day to day running of the company. These include William Lees-Jones, Managing Director and Michael Lees-Jones, Head Brewer. JW Lees remain the only regional brewery to have a family member as their head brewer.

Entries to the online voting close at the end of April 2015. To place your vote, visit:

JW Lees is a family brewery company which was founded in 1828. They are based in Middleton in North Manchester and own JW Lees Brewery, JW Lees Pubs, The Alderley Edge Hotel, The Trearddur Bay Hotel and Willoughby’s Wine Merchants. JW Lees is a sixth-generation family business which employs just over 1,000 people, 140 at the brewery and site in Middleton Junction in North Manchester and 865 in its 37 managed pubs, inns and hotels, as well as letting a further 142 tied pubs to self-employed tenants.