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Marston’s signs trade deal with US firm

By James Pugh | Wolverhampton | Business | Published: | Last Updated:

Wolverhampton-based pub and brewery group Marston's has reached a long term trade agreement with US firm Shipyard Brewing Co ahead of Brexit.

Richard Westwood, MD of Marston’s Beer Co, signing the contract at Marston’s House with Fred Forsley, Shipyard co-founder

The new multi-million pound agreement for 15 years follows a previous successful contract and extends the relationship between the two companies until 2034.

The partnership has been formed over the last decade and stretches as deep as the US-based founding partners, one of whom was a former brewer at Ringwood Brewery in Hampshire.

Shipyard co-founder Fred Forsley visited Marston’s head office to sign the deal and develop plans for the next phase of development for the partnership which will cover new product development plans for 2020 and beyond.

The collaboration, which already has a 12-year history, has strengthened as the popularity of USA styled craft beers has grown in the UK.

Shipyard APA, the first beer to be brewed solely in the UK for Shipyard was permanently available in 2013 and has gone on to be the UK's biggest selling craft keg beer and Shipyard IPA continues to grow in the off-trade and commands the PBA category’s highest rate of sale.

In June 2019, Marston’s launched Low Tide, Shipyard’s first low alcohol alternative into the UK market.

Mr Forsley said “This new commitment is a fantastic news, a dream come true for Shipyard in that we continue to work with a business which has become our extended family – walking into pubs and seeing our beers on the bar or in supermarkets in the UK is a huge buzz.

"Marston’s is a great business partner and our relationship runs very deep. Our long-term plans are exciting and we are both looking long into the future which allows us to focus on the beer and not on contract durations.”

Richard Westwood, managing director at Marston’s Beer Company, added: “Marston’s and Shipyard has been a real success story for UK brewing industry and is a real testament to the uniquely close relationship we have developed and the trust we have built between our businesses.”

Marston's, which has pubs across the West Midlands, has been accelerate plans to cut debt and generate cash by deferring its remaining new-build plans.

James Pugh

By James Pugh
@JamesP_Star

Shropshire Star Business and Farming Editor.

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