Brewers to expand despite declining ale sales

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Several brewers have announced expansion plans in the face of declining demand for real ale. The Mighty Oak Brewery in Essex has applied for planning...

Several brewers have announced expansion plans in the face of declining demand for real ale.

The Mighty Oak Brewery in Essex has applied for planning permission to develop a new plant.

The company wants to build a new, larger brewery in Malden to replace existing premises near Brentwood, currently producing 10,000 pints - or 35 barrels - a week.

Director John Boyce said: "Our success means we are outgrowing our existing premises and we have been searching for an alternative."

Its main ale, Burntwood Bitter - four per cent ABV - was named the 1999 Champion Beer of East Anglia.

Expansion of North Yorkshire's Black Sheep Brewery has led to the promotion of two managers to new posts on the board. Pat Green has become director of sales and marketing and Paul Ambler is director for brewing and distribution. Both have been with the company since it was formed in 1992.

Managing director Paul Theakston said the appointments would boost plans for future expansion after enjoying "remarkable year-on-year growth".

The brewer said current output was fast approaching capacity despite recent additions to the plant and buildings at the Masham site.

In Kent, a new five-barrel brew plant has been set up by two local residents in Borough Green.

John Bridgen and Mike Canniford have brought in Sara-Jane Anderson, formerly of the Valhalla Brewery in the Shetlands, as head brewer at the new Old Kent Brewery. Its first three beers are Fine Edge (ABV: 3.8 per cent), Opener (4.2) and Top Scorer (4.6).

An initial run of 1,380 pints, four times a week, is planned.

Related topics: Other operators

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