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St Austell takes minority stake in Harbour Brewing Co

North Cornwall’s Harbour Brewing Co has revealed that St Austell Brewery has taken a minority share in its business.


The arrangement, which will see Harbour’s beer become available to a much wider audience for the first time, follows the two independent breweries’ long history of collaboration. Indeed, it is a move that also shows how independent breweries can work together to expand distribution and quality of beer across regions rather than pander to takeovers from beer giants seeking a slice of the trend for craft.

Harbour Brewing’s founder Eddie Lofthouse said: “We’ve always had a fantastic relationship with St Austell Brewery. When we first started in 2012, they did our bottling before we had the equipment to do it ourselves, and the former brewing director Roger Ryman was a mentor and good friend. Since then we’ve built strong relationships across the business, from the brewery team to the board, based on shared values of independence, quality and our connection to Cornwall. St Austell Brewery is a world-class brewer, and the leading distributor in the South West, with a vast network of high-quality pubs and bars. Our new partnership means we can reach people all across our home county, who otherwise may not have had the opportunity to try our beers.”

As part of the deal, Harbour Brewing’s production will stay at its site in Kirland, close to Bodmin in Cornwall, however the brewery’s whole range will become available to St Austell venues, including its core beers such as its 3.8% ABV pale ale Daymer, its 4% ABV lager Singlefin, its 5.6% ABV IPA named Big Wednesday and its 4.3% ABV cold IPA Arctic Sky.

St Austell Brewery chief executive Kevin Georgel explained: “This is a very exciting investment for us. The Harbour team has done an incredible job of building the brand over the past decade, and their beers are truly loved by those in the know. For us, this investment is representative of our desire to bring new beers to our customers, with a focus on craftsmanship and quality. We know Harbour’s brands will be popular in pubs and bars across our region and we can’t wait to work with the team, developing their great beers throughout our home county of Cornwall and the wider South West.”

Harbour Brewing, which was founded in 2012, currently sells to pubs and restaurants throughout the UK, including: Hawksmoor Group, Blacklock, JKS Group, The Tate Galleries, and Mitchells & Butlers, as well as Cornish hotspots Watergate Bay Hotel, Nancarrow Farm, and Nathan Outlaw. Additionally, Harbour currently has listings in several national supermarkets, including: Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Marks and Spencer.

Lofthouse added: “From the customer’s perspective, Harbour will continue to be the brewery people know and love – it will just be much more readily available. We’ll be increasing the volume of beer we produce, but the ingredients, recipes, techniques and relentless attention to detail will remain the same.”

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