Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company (CMBC) is to close Wychwood Brewery in Oxfordshire from November this year.
The company said the closure was in line with the break clause on CMBC’s lease with the landlord. The brewery, located in Witney in the Cotswolds, will continue to operate as normal for the coming months. Wychwood brands,such as Hobgoblin, Firecatcher and Dry Neck, will continue to be brewed within the CMBC network.
The company said it is providing support to the six colleagues employed at the brewery during the consultation period over the plans and will also explore any opportunities for redeployment within the business.
Paul Davies, chief executive of CMBC, said: “We understand the depth of feeling towards Wychwood Brewery, and have tremendous pride in our team there. Our number one focus is giving staff all the support they need as we begin the consultation on this proposal.
The UK ale market is an incredibly competitive space, and combined with a turbulent economic outlook for the UK, provides for a challenging environment for industry to navigate. By making use of the break clause in our lease for Wychwood Brewery, we can consolidate our brewing network to achieve greater efficiency and productivity, supporting ongoing investment in our people and business.”
CAMRA National Chairman Nik Antona said: “CAMRA never wants to see the closure of any brewery, be it large or small, traditional or contemporary, and too many across the UK are shutting their doors forever at an alarming rate. Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company’s (CMBC) proposal to close Wychwood brewery in Witney this November is the latest in a growing list of casualties at the hands of global brewers.
“Whilst it is heartening to know that the Wychwood brand will continue in some fashion at CMBC and the iconic Brakspear Double Drop beer will live on at Banks’s, it is a great shame for Oxfordshire to lose such a classic, recognisable brewery.
“Fresh off the heels of closing Jennings brewery in Cumbria and selling off Ringwood brewery of Hampshire, it is worrying to see the UK’s brewing heritage slowly erode. The diminishing consumer choice at the hands of the commercial giants is of great concern.”