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Liberation Group buys Butcombe Brewery

The Liberation Group has acquired Butcombe Brewery and will now comprise 94 pubs, bars and eateries, two breweries brewing over 30,000 barrels of award winning beer as well as retail and wholesale operations employing more than 750 staff.

The Liberation Group, the award winning pubs, eateries and drinks business in the Channel Islands, was formed in 2008 following a management buyout backed by LGV Capital supporting a management team led by Mark Crowther. The Company has established itself as the leading pub and drinks business in the Channel Islands, with 75 predominantly freehold pubs, the Liberation Brewery and two retail and wholesale drinks supply businesses.

Butcombe Brewery was founded in 1978 and is the leading brewer and pub operator in Somerset, Bristol, Bath, the Mendips and the Cotswolds, with 19 managed pubs and the multi award winning Butcombe Brewery. The company prides itself on its traditional, classic pubs, multi-award winning beers, and Ashton Press ciders from the Long Ashton Cider Company.

The combined business will benefit from stronger buying power and supply opportunities, enabling Liberation Group to sell Butcombe beers in the Channel Islands, while exporting Liberation ales on draught and in bottles into UK pub chains and supermarkets with whom Butcombe already has excellent relationships.

Mark Crowther, Chief Executive of Liberation Group said, “We have been looking for some time for the right UK business to acquire as part of our longer term growth strategy. This marks the start of the exciting next chapter for Liberation and Butcombe both of whom share the same passion for quality beers and great pubs. The enlarged group provides the perfect bridge head platform for further future growth in the UK market. We are really looking forward to welcoming the Butcombe team into the Liberation Group.”

Guy Newell, Managing Director of Butcombe Brewery added, “We have had significant interest from several UK pub and drinks businesses, but for us Liberation Group was by far the best fit with our business. They share our ethos for high quality products and service and have proved, as we have, that being independent does not necessarily prevent you from being recognised for excellence alongside some of the biggest global names in the industry. This is a new chapter for both businesses and all of the team here is looking forward to being a part of that.”

Liberation Group intends to invest in Butcombe Brewery’s existing pubs, seeking brand consistency across the group and planning to refresh the food offering with further local produce and recipes. Expansion is planned to build a portfolio of food-led managed and high quality tenanted pubs, whilst continuing the growth and development of the Butcombe beer and cider range.