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26th June 2012


The cask ale business is thriving for a North West brewery – just a year after the launch of a 15 million-pints-a-year development.

Moorhouse’s Brewery bucked the harsh economic climate to triple production capacity with the opening of the £4.2m brewing complex in May 2011. Now the internationally acclaimed brewer has announced a sales surge of some 36 per cent over the previous year to toast a £4m first birthday turnover and new initiatives for the future.

Further listings with leading national pub companies and wholesalers drove spiralling sales of the famous ‘Pendle Witch’ brews across the UK, while business doubled for the ‘one stop shop’ Moorhouse’s Cask Ale Club.

The club enables Moorhouse’s free trade customers to choose from up to 24 guest ales with just one order and delivery while in return guest brewers sell Moorhouse’s brands. The extra brewing capacity has also allowed the roll out of much welcomed new seasonal ales such as White Witch and Pendle Porter.

Managing director David Grant, pictured, said: “Our investment was huge and risky. But our Victorian brewery was bursting at the seams to produce 300 barrels-a-week. We had to take the plunge. Now, in the first year, the hard work and dedication of the whole team has hit our targets.”
Business has seen healthy growth in Moorhouse’s east Lancashire heartland and was recently boosted by the sponsorships of the Lancashire Cricket League 20/20 contest and the Burnley Blues Fringe Festival.

Further a-field Moorhouse’s brands are becoming established with pub companies around London via Gravesend wholesaler AVS, while regular orders of cask Premier Bitter are being shipped to the popular Charlie’s Bar in Copenhagen. Meanwhile bottled sales have spiked by a massive 280 per cent and the range is now being supplied to leading supermarket chains.
For the future Moorhouse’s aims to hit 600 barrels-a-week and a £7m turnover by 2014 and has pledged to place sustainability at the heart of its growth. A partnership deal with barley farmers is currently being established to safeguard future supplies. In-house, a variety of apprentices are to be recruited to strengthen the present 38 strong work force.
David Grant is optimistic: “We’re delighted with the increased sales we’re seeing – it’s a massive vindication of our faith in our beers and a great start in paying back our investment. Cask ale is in resurgence. We will grow with this resurgence thanks to the discerning cask ale drinkers and licensees who buy our beer – and to who we are truly grateful.
“We have invested heavily to become a substantial player in the cask ale industry. Now sustainability is key to our success.  We have to invest further and put something back into the industry to secure the future.”

Ends/  MHPR Moorhouse’s toast first birthday sales

Notes to editors:

Moorhouse’s is the North West leading dedicated cask-conditioned ale brewer and also runs a six strong pub estate.