CMBC sells Eagle Brewery

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Executive comment: CMBC boss Paul Davies says he is grateful to his colleague and their Damm counterparts for their 'collaboration throughout the process of making the agreement a reality'
Executive comment: CMBC boss Paul Davies says he is grateful to his colleague and their Damm counterparts for their 'collaboration throughout the process of making the agreement a reality'

Related tags Beer Finance Lager Brewing

Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company (CMBC) is planning to sell the Eagle Brewery, Bedford to Spanish brewer SA Damm (Damm) for an undisclosed sum.

As part of the deal, the Eagle Brewery’s beers will continue to be sold as part of CMBC’s portfolio.

The move was labelled an “ambitious step” for Damm, which is known in the UK as the brewer of Estrella Damm.

The site will be Damm’s first brewery outside mainland Europe and its second Damm brewery outside of Spain.

CMBC and Damm are working together closely and anticipate the sale to complete by the end of the year.

As part of the agreement, the Eagle Brewery’s beers will remain part of CMBC’s portfolio, which includes Birrificio Angelo Poretti and Brooklyn Pilsner as well as British ale brands Hobgoblin and Wainwright.

Distribution partnership

The two firms have had a long partnership distributing Estrella Damm and much of the activity has taken place at the Eagle Brewery, where Estrella Damm has been packaged for the UK market for 12 years.

All 67 production employees at the brewery will transfer over to Damm’s UK workforce. CMBC’s logistics operation in Bedford will continue from its current location on the site for about the next 12 months before moving to a new location, which has not yet been disclosed.

The site was sold by Charles Wells​ as part of Marston’s purchase of the Bedford-based company’s brewing business and beer distribution rights sell off in 2017 for £55m.

On the sale, CMBC CEO Paul Davies said the business was pleased to share the news of the deal, which was ‘building on the successful relationship to help ensure the brewery’s prosperity’.

He added: “I am grateful to all my colleagues and their counterparts at Damm for their collaboration throughout the process of making this agreement a reality.

“This significant moment for the brewery, becoming Damm’s first brewery outside mainland Europe, has been made possible thanks to the brilliant and dedicated team at the Eagle Brewery, who we will be supporting throughout the transition.”

UK position

Damm welcomed the Eagle’s 67 employees into its family, according to the Spanish brewer’s executive president Demetrio Carceller Arce.

He added: “This deal will strengthen our position in the UK market and help drive our brand in the UK, a key market for the company’s international growth.

“The British public can currently enjoy our products in more than 10,000 bars and restaurants – a figures we expect to continue to grow in the coming years.”

Earlier this year (September), CMBC revealed it was set to close the Jennings Brewery​ in Cockermouth, Cumbria.

This was met with criticism from the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) which called on the brewery to consider creating its Cumberland Cask still in Cumbria, rather than in Burton, which was where production was set to be moved to.

Furthermore in December 2021, CMBC announced it had closed London Fields Brewery​ with a view to selling the site and brand.

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