China to be bewitched by Lancashire ales

Chinese beer enthusiasts will soon taste the magic of Lancashire’s ‘Pendle Witches’ ales.

[caption id="attachment_24296" align="f-align-medium-right f-align-center" width="300"]Moorhouse's managing director David Grant and chairman Bill Parkinson Moorhouse's managing director David Grant and chairman Bill Parkinson[/caption]

Moorhouse’s award winning beers are heading to the Chinese mainland for first time in a move to strengthen export sales for the five strong bottled range.

The inaugural delivery is being 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 further up output at its two-year-old £4.5m brewing complex. Opportunities are also being developed with several US states, Canada, Europe, Asia and the Irish Republic.

And for the North American market the North West’s leading dedicated cask ale brewer is looking at the option of brewing ‘keg’ style beer as it looks to capitalise on the growth of the’ craft keg’ market in the States.

Recently Moorhouse’s announced landmark sales of five-million-pints for the famous cask ales - Pride of Pendle, Black Cat, Blond Witch, Premier Bitter and Pendle Witches Brew - for the 12 months to March while also reporting a turnover of £4.5m for the past financial year, up 18 per cent. The new brewery officially launched in May 2011 and tripled former production capacity to 15m-pints-a-year (more than 1000 brewer’s barrels a week).*

Managing director David Grant said: “Since launching the new brewery we have been delighted with our sales growth in the very tough UK economic climate. However, we still have plenty of capacity to fill and exports are a major plank for future growth. To this end, we are currently looking at the possibility of brewing a keg beer to be aimed specifically at the US.

“China is, of course, a massive potential market and this first order will, hopefully, give us a small toe-hold in an area of that huge country where craft beers are much appreciated. To do this we have linked up with Manchester businesswoman Lisa Fan who has extensive knowledge and contacts in Shanghai, from where the beer will be distributed.”