Thursday, 8 November 2012

A Good USP


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.

Just thought I'd stick a good news story in after reading another depressor from Mudgie

16 comments:

Curmudgeon said...

Another brewery that shifts a lot of beer without tickling the tastebuds of the crafterati.

I suspect a lot of the increase in volume comes from getting listings in major supermarkets, though.

Tandleman said...

Quite possibly, but it's all beer, employment and revenue.

Curmudgeon said...

You know me, I'm not knocking it. And it's volume that isn't going to Greene King.

Tandleman said...

I wouldn't trust the opinions of most of the crafterati under any circumstances.

py0 said...

Black Cat is my favourite mild, beats the pants off Black Dog (sorry Elgoods).

What is a crafty ratty when its at home?

OllyC said...

A beer can only truly be craft if costs at least £5.50 for a 330ml bottle and weighs in at a minimum of 8.8% ABV.

Phil said...

They're ticking a lot of different boxes at the moment - lots of bottles in Morrison's & quite a few in other supermarkets (including Spar); their beers are regular guests around the place, particularly Black Cat; and I see them a lot in Spoons - Blond Witch seems to have taken root on the bar of my local JDWs. Good on 'em.

Apart from Blond Witch at one end and the milds at the other, their stuff tends to have a distinctive Moorhouse-y taste, which (like you) I find a bit sweet. But we're obviously in the minority!

Paul Bailey said...

We do sometimes see the likes of Pendle Witches in this neck of the woods. I've always liked Moorhouses, and am pleased to see they are doing well.

Cooking Lager said...

3.4% You're not going to get smashed on that. Do they do owt stronger that's cheap in Spoons?

Curmudgeon said...

Yeah, if Spoons have it, Pendle Witch at 5.1% is a kind of pong equivalent of Stella.

Cooking Lager said...

Eye but anything over 5% is 20p dearer in Spoons. You're better off at 4.9%, 'cos there £1.99 and with a 50p off voucher it's £1.49. You can can get nicely rat arsed for buttons with that strategy and it's responsible drinking 'cos they are beard club tokens.

Curmudgeon said...

"Eye but anything over 5% is 20p dearer in Spoons."

Not in the Gateway it isn't. I recently spotted Wobbly Bob (6.0%) for £1.99, which would have been a mere £1.49 with the beard token. That's what I was referring to when I said you could get cask beer for under 50p a unit.

Anonymous said...

easy enough to find round London but would you want to.cant knock how successful they have become though.cheers john

Maxwell Power said...

Had a Black Witch last night, first time I can remember seeing them on down south recently. It was a bit thin although not in tip top condition either.

Stono said...

Ruby Witch (4.6%) is in the current Spoons beer festival, and has popped up in a number of local nonSpoons pubs too round our way, might suggest theyve got a new distribution deal going which is helping them shift the volume and into areas they havent reached before. But yeah liked it alot very drinkable, though I get where your coming from on the sweetness, certainly be on the look out for more of their beers in the coming months

Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing..