Evan-Evans launches London brewing and pub venture

By John Harrington

- Last updated on GMT

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Simon Buckley: 'We are looking to get between three and five pubs within 18 months'
Simon Buckley: 'We are looking to get between three and five pubs within 18 months'
Evan-Evans, the Welsh brewer and pub operator, has launched a new brewing and pub operating venture targeted at the London and south east market.

Chief executive Simon Buckley told the Publican's Morning Advertiser​'s sister title M&C Report​ that he hopes to open the first pub in the region in September or October. It aims to secure between three and five within 18 months under the new Porter Street Brewery business, a subsidiary of Evan-Evans.

The new venture will specialise in “brewing high quality craft beers for the specialist London market”. Evan-Evans said it would be acquiring a new wholesale and distribution business that will give it access to more than 400 new customers in the south east.

Buckley said the beers will be brewed at its Llandeilo brewery for probably the next year or so before production switches to a new dedicated brewery in Essex.

Leasehold focus

Regarding the pub estate, Buckley said: “They will generally be leasehold pubs. We are looking at Greater London and then out into the provinces. We are looking to get between three and five pubs within 18 months and then on from there.”

He said the pubs would operate as Porter Street brewery free houses, focused on “great food, great ale, and if we can do it, some good sound accommodation with it”. This would mirror the ‘bunkhouse’ concept operated in some of the Evan-Evans estate.

Pubco or private leases would be considered. “It has to be on commercial terms that make sense,” Buckley stressed.

The first Porter Street beers have now been produced: London Ale (4% ABV) and London Hop (4.5% ABV), with seasonal beers set to follow. They will be available throughout the UK in the next two weeks, Buckley said.

News of the venture was announced at the Wales Beer Festival in Cardiff yesterday.

Porter Street Brewery

Buckley said: “We have been planning the launch of a new London brewery for the last six months and today we launch this unique brewing company, with the very first tastings of these new beers.

“Porter Street Brewery beers will, ultimately, be brewed in Essex, at a new brewing site and will brew three core brands and a group of unique seasonal beers designed exclusively for the London market.

“I have worked with my brewing team and our technical advisors to create beers that echo the famous past of London brewing. We are also creating a range of new beers that cater for the huge demand for craft beers from the tourist and local markets in London.”

Buckley added: “This is a major part of a new group expansion plan that will also involve the purchase of leasehold pubs in the south east.

“London is still a fascinating market full of opportunities with strong demand for high quality beers. For the brewers who know what they are doing, producing the very finest quality beers, there is an opportunity for growth. That is us.

“We will be making further announcements on the new group structure in the next few weeks.”

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