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3rd October 2012


In celebration of Cask Ale Week, award-winning family brewer, St Austell Brewery, has unveiled a new cask racking plant worth £2.5million.

The advanced system will give the business the capability to double its brewing capacity, with the potential of producing up to 200,000 brewers’ barrels a year.

The plant, made by British manufacturer, Microdat, fills a (9 gallon) firkin in just 12 seconds, increasing St Austell’s cask rackingcapabilities from 120 firkins to 300 firkins an hour.

Brewing into the future

The expansion follows a trend-bucking buoyant year of sales and numerous award-wins at the independently owned company.  Despite the pub industry as a whole witnessing a market decrease of 6% in beer sales in the first quarter of 2012[1], volumes at the Cornish brewery have continued to rise; with Tribute Pale Ale at the forefront of this growth.

The St Austell Brewery development marks the biggest industry investment in cask operations in the last ten years. The opening also coincides with the announcement that the cask ale category has now overtaken keg as the most popular form of draught ale[2].

Production of the Brewery’s flagship ale, Tribute, reached an all time high this year – since it was launched 12 years ago – when the UK’s Regional Cask Ale of the Year[3] broke through the threshold of 50,000 barrels MAT.

James Staughton, Managing Director of St Austell Brewery, said: “The opening of the new cask operation plant represents a significant milestone in our company’s 160-year history and it brings the total investment in our brewing and bottling facilities to almost £6 million in just seven years.”

James added: “Whilst we’ve been fortunate to have witnessed an increase in sales, we’re by no means resting on our laurels. The opening of the cask operation plant is a bold move, but will mean we will be able to consistently meet the demand for our range of award-winning ales now and in the years to come.”

The new plant is also built to exacting environmental standards with features including solar panels, heat recovery and low-energy lighting making the building self-sufficient in its electricity usage.

Brewer of the South West’s favourite ales and the region’s leading pub company and wholesaler, St Austell Brewery is one of the oldest businesses in Cornwall and one of the most successful, independently run, family owned breweries in the UK. 

– Ends-


2nd October, 2012

Notes to Editors

Photography captions: 

Image 1: Roger Ryman, head brewer at St Austell Brewery and James Staughton, managing director, St Austell Brewery

Image 2: Jeremy Mitchell, director of marketing and communications, James Staughton, managing director, Roger Ryman, head brewer, Nigel Barden, BBC Radio 2 food and drink presenter

St Austell Brewery

  • With a large number of award wins under its belt, St Austell Brewery most recently won Regional Brewery of the Year 2012 at The Publicans’ Supplier Awards. The Brewery also won three awards at the World Beer Awards for Proper Job and Admiral’s Ale. Smugglers Grand Cru was also crowned Champion Speciality Beer at the latest Quality Drinks Awards.
  • St Austell Brewery’s five main cask ale beer brands are: Tribute, Proper Job, Trelawny, Dartmoor Best and HSD. The bottled beer range consists of HSD, Tribute, Proper Job, Admiral’s Ale, Trelawny, Smugglers, Smugglers Grand Cru, Clouded Yellow wheat beer and Korev Cornish lager (Korev is also now available on draught).
  • Founded in 1851, the company is a recognised centre of excellence for training, accredited by the British Institute of Innkeeping (BII), offering a wide range of courses to people who work in the licensed trade.
  • All St Austell Brewery ales are available online at and through Ocado. Tribute Ale is available in supermarkets nationwide and Admiral’s Ale is available in Waitrose nationally.
  • St Austell Brewery’s informative ‘Passport to Beer’ mini-guide (all the things you feel you ought to know about beer but never dared to ask) can also be bought at



Microdat is a forward thinking organisation with its sights set firmly on the future. The utilisation of up to the minute technology and advanced engineering techniques means that customers are assured of the best possible solutions for their applications. Its abilities have been developed in the field of automated handling systems orientated towards the brewing industry, where innovative handling systems have provided leading UK Brewers with advanced equipment to greatly enhance quality and productivity in this very competitive market place.

For more information visit:


For more information, or to request an interview or image, please contact:

Laura McKay or Hannah Amos

Wild Card

01872 243560  /



Jeremy Mitchell, Director of Marketing & Communications

St Austell Brewery

01726 627149 /