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Marston’s urged to protect Charles Wells’ heritage post-buyout

By Helen Gilbert , 19-May-2017
Last updated on 19-May-2017 at 10:25 GMT2017-05-19T10:25:36Z

Protection plea: CAMRA urges Marston's to ringfence brands
Protection plea: CAMRA urges Marston's to ringfence brands

The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has urged Marston’s to protect the brands it has inherited under the Charles Wells deal.

The recommendation was made by Tim Page, CAMRA's chief executive after the brewer and pub operator announced it had acquired the brewing business and beer distribution rights for £55m on Thursday (18 May).

Page said Marston’s had a “positive track record of keeping the breweries it acquires open, in situ” and urged it to “continue that policy”, however he added that CAMRA was always “concerned” about any consolidation in the brewing industry that could result in a “reduction in choice, value for money and quality for beer drinkers”.

'A larger share'

“We're also wary of one company increasingly controlling a larger and larger share of the market, which is seldom beneficial for consumers,” Page said.

Bombardier, Courage and McEwan’s are among the brands that have been included in the sale as well as the UK distribution rights for Kirin Lager, Estrella Damm, Erdinger and Founders.

The exclusive global licence of the Young’s brands will be transferred to Marston’s, together with the wine merchants Cockburn & Campbell.

'Increase the range'

Page suggested Marston’s “increase the range available to beer drinkers, by continuing to supply them alongside the existing beers produced by Marston's-owned breweries”.

“It's reassuring to hear that Charles Wells intends to continue brewing in Bedford, ensuring that whatever Marston's chooses to do with the brewery and brands it has acquired, local people will continue to be able to enjoy locally brewed beers in the region,” he added.

The British Beer & Pub Association, British Institute of Innkeeping and the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers declined to comment on the deal.

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