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1st September 2014


Lancashire’s acclaimed Moorhouse’s Brewery is rolling out a special brew to celebrate the harvest of its first dedicated barley crop.


This summer a group of North West farmers reaped the results of a deal with the Burnley brewer to supply the ‘brewer’s barley’ Maris Otter variety for the famous ‘Pendle Witches’ real ales.


First Cut (4.2%abv) is released as the September special to mark the initiative’s success. Rich amber coloured ale, it’s brewed with Maris Otter ‘for an exceptional sweet biscuit taste’ and two traditional British hop varieties – East Kent Goldings and Fuggles– ‘for spice and honey notes … with an earthy, minty balance’. A striking bucolic pump-clip image highlights farmers Tom and Olly Harrison of Elton Head Hall Farm, Rainhill – who played a lead role in the project’s launch year.


Fast growing Moorhouse’s urged the farmers to cultivate the highly prized barley variety in a move to ensure sustainable supplies for the brewery’s future.* Maris Otter was developed specifically as malted barley for British cask-conditioned ale in the 1950s. It became scarce as many arable farmers to turn to easier cultivated crops.


David Grant, Moorhouse’s managing director, said: “With the first harvest safely gathered in, we are rolling out First Cut to celebrate our successful agreement to source top quality Maris Otter from North West farmers.


“This is the very best variety for cask ale brewing. The partnership is a key investment for our future and Moorhouse’s enthusiasts can raise a glass to its success with this very British, and delightfully quaffable, cask ale.”





With the launch of a £4.2m brewery complex in 2011 Moorhouse’s became ‘the North West’s newest regional brewery’. It recently reported a record turnover of £5m for last year and a sales surge of eight per cent in the first six months of the current trading year -with almost 2.6m pints sold.  Ends/MHPR- First Cut



The official launch of the new brewery in 2011 marked an historic milestone in the turbulent history of the award winning Burnley drinks company, founded in 1865 by William Moorhouse. William produced mineral waters and low alcohol ‘temperance’ beers. Full strength brewing began in the 1970s, after the Moorhouse family sold out.


Internationally acclaimed for its ‘Pendle Witches’ brands Moorhouse’s has  won more brewing awards than any other comparable brewer. It now directly supplies some 600 free trade customers throughout the North of England and Midlands, while the brands are also distributed nationally via wholesalers and through leading pub companies.


Black Cat was voted Camra (Campaign for Real Ale) Champion Beer of Britain 2000 and won gold in class at the Brewing Industry International Awards 2011; Pride of Pendle claimed the Champion Cask Ale title at the BIIA 2004 and Premier Bitter was voted gold in class; Pendle Witches Brew was twice runner-up in the Camra GBBF annual contest and has received a silver medal at the BIIA. Blond Witch, the newest and fastest growing brand, has collected awards from many Camra beer festivals and SIBA (Society of Independent Brewers).


For further information contact: Steve Hobman, Rhino PR:  07751 578605. email: