I read in the Morning Advertiser that Moorhouses of Burnley have sold 500,000 more pints of their beer this October than last. A whopping 36% increase year on year, that's a lot of beer. Last year Moorhouses opened a new brewery costing 4.2 million pounds with the capacity to produce a very respectable 50,000 barrels a year.
Yet I am sure many of my readers aren't that familiar with their beer. I don't recall seeing it that often in my Southern travels, though of course, here in the North, it is relatively easy to come by. Their Unique Selling Point is their connection with nearby Pendle Hill and its witch trials in the 1600s, with their most famous brew being Pendle Witches Brew and another, a former Champion Beer of Britain, being Black Cat, a luscious mild. The brewery has grown from 10 barrels a week in the mid 80's, a time when I used to nip up there to buy a nine for parties, complete with a free handpump hire. I remember the small cramped brewery well and have toured it a couple of other times, long ago, though I have yet to visit the new one.
Now of course you will have spotted that around Halloween interest in things ghoulish increases, but it isn't at all a bad USP that will bring you extra sales of five and half thousand nines in a single month. Moorhouses are an understated success story in British Brewing
Now I have to confess that Pendle Witch is a tad too sweet for my taste, but mmm, Black Cat pulled through a tight sparkler. Now there's a breakfast beer.
A bit of a CV. Tandleman is a veteran beer lover, local CAMRA Chairman and activist, beer author, beer reviewer and pursuer of all things good in beer. He lives in the North West of England and London. Despite his CAMRA membership, he does not limit himself to cask conditioned beer, though he believes that cask conditioning, when done correctly and appropriately, brings a quality to beer that is hard to equal by any other kind of presentation. He is a strong supporter of Northern methods of beer dispense and avidly detests poorly presented beer and dislikes pasteurisation. He regularly visits Germany, has conducted corporate British and German beer tastings for CAMRA at the Great British Beer Festival where he has worked for years on Biere Sans Frontieres and was Deputy Organiser at CAMRA's very successful National Winter Ales Festival in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. He admires good brewers wherever they are and has travelled extensively in pursuit of good beer to drink.
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