Cornish Brewery expands into the Cotswolds

Cornish brewery St Austell is eyeing up further expansion after buying its first pub in the Cotswolds.

The brewery, which owns 179 pubs, inns and hotels across Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Bristol and the Isles of Scilly, has bought the Red Lion Inn in the north Wiltshire town of Cricklade, near Swindon, which dates back to the 17th century.

The acquisition marks a new phase in the brewery’s expansion plans, following its acquisition of Bath Ales in 2016, as it seeks to strengthen the brewery’s estate of pubs and hotels across the South West and beyond

Steve Worrall, retail director at St Austell’s said it formed part an ongoing acquisition strategy.

“The location of the property is important. Following the acquisition of Bath Ales, we now have a base from which we can look at new geographical areas which have previously been too far away for us to service efficiently,” he said.

It comes as the brewery celebrated its sales reaching a milestone of 150,000 barrels a year, driven by the increased popularity of younger brands as well as its flagship Cornish pale ale, Tribute, which celebrated its 20th anniversary recently. In 2018, the company reported a 6.1% increase in annual turnover to £179.6 million.

In March, London’s Fuller’s head brewer Georgina Young joined the company to head up brewing for Bath Ales, while non-executive director and boss of UK pub company Admiral Taverns Kevin Georgel due to replace current chief executive James Staughton when he retires next year.

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