One of the largest independent family brewers, Robinsons Brewery is based in Stockport, Greater Manchester. It operates out of the historic Unicorn Brewery in the town centre and operates 240 tenanted pubs and 23 managed houses across the north-west and Wales.
Its history dates back to 1838 when William Robinson purchased the Unicorn pub, in Lower Hillgate, Stockport, from Samuel Hole.
Still a huge advocate of cask beer, Robinsons a huge range of beers and is keen to further its development of keg products and has a constant line of new product development already in operation with much more set to follow.
It recently announced it was to invest £12m to relocate and combine its operations at one site with work expected to begin in summer this year.
Wells & Co/Brewpoint
Independent, family-owned business Wells & Co is based in the heart of Bedfordshire. Since 1876, it has focused on running pubs and making beer.
It unveiled its state-of-the-art brewery – Brewpoint – recently last year, which also has a taproom and its head operations.
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It operates around 200 pubs across England and France. Each site is assigned to a division including Managed Houses, Pub partners, Wells & Co France.
Its beers are also categorised from its cask offer called Charlie Wells, its Brewpoint range and experimental Wandering Brewer Project.
Laine Pub and Brewing Company
Laine has a nomadic brewing operation but also makes beer within some of its sites. Its pubs are located mainly in Brighton, London and Birmingham, with the majority in the East Sussex coastal city.
Its pub numbers total 53 with more being added on a regular basis and its beer portfolio also continues to rise, which includes favourites such as Ripper session IPA, Source pale ale, Word lager and Mangolicious mango and passionfruit pale.
It also operates big outdoor events with the Brighton Spielgeltent being one of its biggest achievements.
Its pubs are run by ‘management partners’, who are given a 12-week induction period enabling them to run a pub as their own business, with plenty of support too.
North Brewing Co
A relative newcomer to the pub game, Leeds-based North Brewing Co was founded by John Gyngell and Christian Townsley in 2015, having opened their North Bar pub in 1997.
In 2015 they turned their 10-year dream of making their own beer into a reality by opening a 15bbl brewery, featuring a 200-person capacity taproom, half a mile from North Bar.
The business has now opened a bigger brewery in Springwells, in north Leeds, and continues to brew a multitude of beers while operating as a taproom. It also runs further sites in its estate across the region and is planning to open a site on Manchester.
Its pubs include Further North in Chapel Allerton, Alfred in Meanwood, Preston Bar in Oakwood, North Bar Social in Otley and North Bar in Harrogate.
- Check out the full list of finalists at the 2022 Publican Awards here.