Moorehouse's toasts five million pint milestone

Burnley-based independent brewer Moorhouse’s has broken the five million-pints-a-year barrier at its new £4m production facility.

[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]

The company hailed the record production alongside a turnover of £4.5m for the full financial year to September 2012 with sales growing by 18 per cent.

Listings with leading national pub companies and wholesalers drove sales across the UK, while business for the famous ‘Pendle Witch’ themed brands also surged with free trade pubs as new marketing initiatives took hold.

The International Brewing Awards cask champion Pride of Pendle -  now listed with both the nationwide Punch and Enterprise pub companies and the Wetherspoons chain - leads sales. Meanwhile bottled sales increased by 300 per cent with the range now supplied to several leading supermarket chains. The Premier Stores chain has also now listed bottled Premier Bitter as ‘must stock’ brand throughout its 2,000 outlets.

Managing director David Grant said the success was achieved despite the dire economy. “When, several years ago, we decided to invest for the future we knew we faced a huge challenge. But we had no idea that we would suffer the economic climate we now experience. Consequently we are delighted to report that we have expanded our business further despite those harsh conditions. It’s a real tribute to the dedication of the whole team.”

For the future Moorhouse’s aims to hit 600 brewer’s barrels-a-week and a £7m turnover by 2015 and has pledged to place sustainability at the heart of its growth; this has included establishing partnership deals with barley farmers to safeguard future malt supplies.

New export opportunities are being investigated in Europe, Asia and China for bottled and keg beer while ties area strengthened with wholesalers in the US. Recently discussions have been held with the Canadian Liquor Board and the IrishRepublic drinks authorities.

David Grant added: “We’ have made siginificant progress, but cannot rest on our laurels. Life is getting even tougher in the industry with more than 130 new breweries entering the market in recent months while pubs continue to close at an astonishing rate – some 20 plus a week. “But we have made the investment in the capital infrastructure and there has never been a time when the stakeholders and directors have been stronger in their commitment to securing our future in cask ale – the only part of the UK beer industry showing growth. This is the most exciting time in Moorhouse’s long history. When we celebrate our 150th anniversary in two years time we expect to be acknowledged as a major player on the national cask ale scene.”