Moorhouse’s pioneering scheme to supply publicans with the UK’s top cask ales has been declared a ‘great success’ – and gone international.
Over the past year business has doubled for the one-stop shop Cask Ale Club. The club offers a regular 12 strong choice of beers from three leading craft brewers alongside Moorhouse’s famous core brands and seasonals.
In October a 23 strong selection was on offer, including five Moorhouse’s blended witch ales for the Halloween season. The month saw a sales surge for the club of 67 per cent, following a September increase of 21 per cent. This growth reflected the ‘phenomenal’ spike of 48 per cent in overall total sales compared with 2011.
Launched in 2011, the club was a key marketing initiative as the acclaimed Pendle Witches brewer trebled capacity to 1000 barrels-a-week. Club sales grew quickly and last May enjoyed 100 per cent growth on the previous year. All club beers are delivered from the new Burnley brewery on just one order. A full colour promotional leaflet supports the offer each month.
A reciprocal deal with guest brewers means casks are refilled with Moorhouse’s ales and returned to reach new pubs. Strong ties have been established with champion brewers including Dark Star in Sussex, Mordue on Tyneside and even Orkney’s celebrated The Highland Brewing Company*.
One club member is Cask Marque approved Charlie’s Bar in Copenhagen, where 36 firkins are delivered each month – half Moorhouse’s brands and half guest ales.**
Much closer to home, the Hare & Hounds at Holcombe Brook, Bury, also finds the club a huge help in maintaining a ten hand-pull choice on the bar.
Hare & Hounds manager Andy Grant said: “The cask club is really useful and cuts down the paperwork. Moorhouse’s beers are popular here, but using the club helps us to find beers from much further away. We just wouldn’t be able to easily get hold of brews from Orkney without it. Customers really appreciate it.”
Managing director David Grant manager said: “The club is a great success. October was phenomenal for sales generally and the club delivered an excellent result. Publicans put on a terrific ale selection with just one order, boosting their sales without reducing ours.
“They can offer beers they wouldn’t normally have available; not many pubs in England see Orkney IPA from Highland Brewing. Meanwhile, we sell more beer around the country, on Tyneside for instance due to our links with Mordue Brewery. Partner brewers reach many more outlets without food miles and can even export.”
Last year overall sales figures rose by almost 40 per cent to reach a turnover of more than £4m and now Moorhouse’s aims to hit 600 barrels-a-week and a £7m turnover by 2014. Ends /Ref: MHPR – Cask Ale doubles business
*Notes to editors:
Moorhouse’s Brewery Background Information
The new brewery doubled the workforce to some 40 employees and trebled production capacity to 1000 brewers’ barrels a week. A visitor centre and hospitality suite is also included.
William Moorhouse established his drinks manufacturing business in 1865, originally producing mineral waters and then low strength hop bitters. Moorhouse’s began full strength brewing in the 1970s. Since then Moorhouse’s has won more accolades than any brewer of comparable size -including the Camra Champion Beer of Britain title for Black Cat and the Champion Cask-Conditioned Ale Trophy from the Brewing Industry International Awards (BIIA) for Pride of Pendle.
*In 2011 Orkney IPA claimed the Champion Cask Ale title at the Brewing Industry International Awards, the ‘Oscars’ of the brewing world.
** Charlie’s Bar is one of very few Cask Marque approved outlets outside of the UK.
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|Skal to the Moorhouse’s ale club – (L-R) MD David Grant with Iain Russell of Charlie’s Bar and David O’Neill of beer importers Morgenrot PLC.jpg
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