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11th October 2013


Moorhouse’s, the internationally acclaimed ‘Pendle Witches’ ales brewer, is set for a spell-binding Halloween as early seasonal sales go national to hit a record high.

For the first week of October the ‘North West’s newest regional brewer’ saw sales surge to 663 brewer’s-barrels (more than 190,000 pints)* for the new £4.2m brewery, launched in 2011. With the 100 brewer’s-barrels-brew-length plant Moorhouse’s has ramped up production of seasonal specials and now Halloween is ‘busier than Christmas’ for the Burnley brewery.

In recent years sales have spiralled by more than 35 per cent during the weeks prior to October 31 as Moorhouse’s increasingly becomes known as THE Halloween brewer. Last year more than half-a-million pints were despatched. The internationally acclaimed brands pay tribute to the legend of the ill-fated witches who roamed Pendle Hill near Burnley in the early 17th century.

For this year’s witching season the brewers have been busy stirring the cauldron to produce a line-up of innovative ales in addition to its five core brands– Black Cat former Camra Champion Beer of BritainPride of Pendle (4.1%)former Champion Cask Ale  Brewing Industry International Awards – and premier Pendle Witches Brew (5.1%).

A choice of special brews includes golden wheat beer White Mist (4.2%abv), and fruity blonde style White Witch (3.9%abv) an easy drinking ale which is hugely popular and dark red Ruby Witch (4.6%abv), designed to match the season as a medium strength ‘dark ruby coloured full bodied ale with subtle roast flavours, hints of spice and tangerine notes from Crystal and Cascade hops’.

These are backed by five seasonal blended ales: Broomstick Bitter (4%), Black Witch (4.2%), Witches Cauldron (4.2%), Witchfinder General (4.4%abv) and Witch Hunt (4.8%). The brands are backed by promotional offers to publicans.

Launching this year’s brews David Grant, Moorhouse’s managing director, said: “Halloween just gets busier and busier each year – even more than Christmas – as our witch brands become more widely known to both publicans and drinkers alike.

 “But, without a doubt this year looks set to be truly outstanding. Substantial orders have already gone out to leading pub companies Enterprise and Wetherspoon’s. We will support both pub company publicans and free traders who wish to give their customers great cask ale for some witches season fun to boost their sales, especially at a time when trading conditions are at their toughest ever.”

Earlier this year Moorhouse’s passed the five-million-pints-a-year milestone following on from hitting £4.5m turnover for the last financial year. The next target is £7m turnover en-route to reaching full production capacity for the 1000-barrels-a-week (288,000 pints) capacity brewery.

To achieve this key appointments have been made. Mark Boardman is now national accounts controller spearheading business development with pub companies across the UK. Marshall Burke (pictured launching Halloween beers) has now joined as sales manager to head up the sales development team. Both were formerly in senior sales posts with regional brewer Daniel Thwaites of Blackburn.

In addition, Moorhouse’s commitment to quality has been endorsed with a prestigious industry accolade – the Distributor Charter Award from quality watchdog Cask Marque, which recently awarded Moorhouse’s 100 per cent following an inspection to rigorously test storage and distribution systems. It is one of only a handful of brewers in the country to gain the Charter status.

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

 Note to editors: Chinese beer enthusiasts will also be tasting the magic of Lancashire’s ‘Pendle Witches’ ales this month. Moorhouse’s award winning beers are on sale in China for first time in a move to strengthen export sales for the five strong bottled range. The inaugural delivery was recently made to Shanghai following collaboration with Manchester businesswoman Lisa Fan, of beer and beverage export company United Phoenix Ltd, on a consignment of several UK beers collated at the Burnley brewery. It is the latest export initiative as the fast growing brewer looks to increase bottled output at its two-year-old £4.5m brewing complex.

Moorhouse’s background

Moorhouse’s has won more awards than any comparable brewer, including Black Cat voted Camra Supreme Champion Beer of Britain 2000. Last yearBlack Cat also took gold in the Standard Strength Cask-Conditioned Ale category of the Brewing Industry International Awards (BIIA). Premier Bitter (3.7%), Blond Witch (4.5%), Black Cat (3.4%)

Founder William Moorhouse established his drinks manufacturing business in Accrington Road, Burnley, and Lancashire in 1865. Originally it produced mineral waters and then low strength hop bitters for Temperance Movement bars. Moorhouse’s began full strength brewing in the 1970s and in the eighties Manchester businessman Bill Parkinson bought the then ailing brewery ‘because he liked the beer’. Now, Moorhouse’s directly supplies several hundred pubs throughout the North West, Midlands and Yorkshire, while distributing nationally via leading wholesalers and major pub chains.

*A brewer’s barrel is 288 pints.