Moorhouse's considers micropub growth

By James Wallin, M&C Report

- Last updated on GMT

Moorhouse's could target a chain of micropubs
Moorhouse's could target a chain of micropubs

Related tags Beer Grant

Lancashire brewer and pub operator Moorhouse’s could target a chain of micropubs, according to its managing director David Grant.

The company, which recorded a 26% hike in its like-for-like beer volume sales in December, has had less success with its pub estate – which now stands at five after one was sold last year.

Another is due to be sold in February and Grant said by the middle of 2015 he expects to have disposed of the other unwanted sites. He said of these: “They are unprofitable. They are not being sold as pubs but for development and rightly so.”

Grant said last year that he thought Moorhouse’s was several years off further pub acquisitions because of the turbulence of the sector.

But he told the PMA's​ sister title M&C Report​: “If we do look at buying something, and we have the funds to do that, we would perhaps look at a small pub company where the infrastructure would already be in place. The other thing I am very interested in is micropubs and would be interesting to have a group of those, selling our beers and getting our brand out there but without all the headaches that come with running a full-scale pub operation.

“I look at these huge mausoleums that spring up out of town and I barely recognise it as a pub. But a small licensed retail unit – converting off-licences would be perfect – is something I understand and would be interested in investigating.

“It could open for about 40 hours a week and be run by two people and it would do the job.”

Grant said sales of Moorhouse’s beer to tenanted pub companies in the first quarter of their financial year (which began in October) were up 79% but said smaller independents were struggling more.

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