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Sadler's Brewery closure and move to Cumbria confirmed

By John Corser | Stourbridge | Business | Published:

The closure of a Black Country brewery and the transfer of production of its range of beers to the Lake District has been confirmed.

The Sadler's Brewery equipment is to go to southern Ireland to make Peaky Blinders Irish whiskey

A 30-day consultation over the plans to shift brewing of Sadler's Brewery beers to Cumbria from Lye finished on Monday.

Liverpool-based drinks manufacturer and distributor Halewood International will now produce the Sadler's beers – including the high-selling Peaky Blinders brand – at Hawkshead Brewery in Staveley, near Kendal.

Halewood had bought a majority stake in Lye-based Sadler's in 2017.

It issued a statement saying: "After thorough consultation and extensive review, a decision has been made to close the Sadler’s brewery site at Lye in the West Midlands. This was communicated to the Sadler’s team yesterday.

"We can confirm that four employees are transferring to other roles within the group, with others currently being considered for potential vacancies.

"Sadler’s beer will continue to be produced, with production transferring to Hawkshead Brewery in Cumbria."

The brewery equipment at Conyer’s Trading Estate, Station Drive, is to be transferred to southern Ireland where it will be used to produce whiskey instead.

About 25 people were facing redundancy at Lye with the closure of the leased premises.

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Sadler’s was originally a family business that began in Oldbury in 1861.

Brewing later took place behind the Windsor Castle pub in Lye before being moved to the new brewery.

The £500,000 Sadler’s Brewhouse and Bar opened in March 2015 and was extended in 2018.

Two Sadler’s bars – the Taproom at Quinton and Brewer’s Social in Harborne – are not affected by the closure and will continue trading.

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Sadler’s bottled a lot of its beers which are sold through supermarket chains.

It launched its Peaky Blinder beer following the success of the BBC TV series Peaky Blinders, which was partly filmed at the Black Country Living Museum.

Halewood Wines and Spirits reported strong growth in 2019 driven by a number of its core brands, including Whitley Neil Gin, Crabbie’s Whisky and Dead Man’s Fingers Rum.

Brands such as JJ Whitley Gin, Peaky Blinder Spirits and The Pogues Irish Whiskey also contributed to growth, which resulted in group revenues up by 26 per cent and pre-tax profits of £26.3 million, up 15 per cent on the previous year.

The business was founded by the late John Halewood in 1978 and is owned and controlled by the Halewood family.

John Corser

By John Corser
Business Reporter - @JohnCorser_Star

Express & Star Business Editor at head office, Wolverhampton. Welcomes all news of companies and business organisations.

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