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20th February 2013

Moorhouse’s celebrates success at brewing ‘Oscars’

The North West’s famous Moorhouse’s Black Cat brew has been proclaimed one of the world’s best real ales.
At the International Brewing Awards, the Burnley brewer’s popular dark mild style beer notched up another triumph when it took bronze medal for cask-conditioned beers of 2.9-3.8%abv strength.
And ‘lucky’ Black Cat was the only cask mild style ale* to claim success at the bi-annual ‘Oscars’ of the brewing world. Professional brewers spent three days judging almost 1000 entries from 45 countries at the National Brewing Centre, Burton-on-Trent.
Moorhouse’s has seen many victories for Black Cat (3.4%abv) in the past – including the Champion Beer of Britain 2000 accolade from Camra (Campaign for Real Ale).
Managing director David Grant welcomed the award as significant victory for both Moorhouse’s and the style. He said: “Black Cat went up against leading cask bitter brands in this class of strength – so the competition was very tough. And across all the classes it was the only mild ale to win an award.
“We have produced it for a long time – despite this traditional style going into decline some years ago when the trend moved towards blander, easy drinking golden ales.
“But mild is showing something of a revival. Many brewers now compete against us in the category. So we are absolutely delighted with this top accolade for Black Cat, a moderate strength beer with real taste. Perhaps publicans will consider stocking it as an alternative to a ubiquitous dark mega brand.
“This is the top global brewing competition, so consequently we can now boast Black Cat as the best cask mild in the world. It is a tremendous tribute to our brewers as we enjoy record sales in the second year of our new brewery.”
The launch of a new £4.2m brewing complex in 2011 trebled the former production capacity at the North West’s leading dedicated cask brewer to more than 1000 barrels a week – or 15 million pints a year.
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 a £7m turnover by 2014.
Celebrated for its ‘Pendle Witches brands, the Burnley brewery has received more awards than any other of a comparable size.   Ends/Ref: MHPR Black Cat IBA success

Notes to editors:
*Mild ale is a style of beer once hugely popular with the  North West’s industrial workers as a refreshing but moderate strength brew to restore energy after a hard day’s work in the cotton mills or coal mines.
Moorhouse’s background: The new brewery officially launched in May 2011 to doubled the workforce to some 40 employees. It includes a visitor centre and hospitality suite. William Moorhouse established his drinks manufacturing business in 1865, originally producing mineral waters and then low strength hop bitters. The Burnley brewery began full strength brewing in the 1970s. Since then the Moorhouse’ 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.

Other core brews Premier Bitter, Blond Witch and the premium strength Pendle Witches Brew have also enjoyed wide acclaim. Moorhouse’s directly supplies several hundred pubs in the North West and Yorkshire as well as leading pub companies and drinks wholesalers.

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