Historic Bedford brewery sold for £55m

Mon, 12 Jun 2017 | BUSINESS SALE

The iconic Charles Wells Brewery is to sell off its Bedford operator Marston's in a £55 million deal.

The 141 year old business, which is the largest brewery in Bedford, announced the sale saying that the company will not focus on a new, smaller brewery in Bedford to supply its 200-strong pub chain.

Charles Wells Ltd chief executive, Justin Phillimore, said the deal provided opportunities for both companies: "After a detailed review of our strategy we had decided to rebalance the company more towards retail investment - and that meant finding a partner we could work with for the future".

Charles Wells has been operating in Bedford since 1876, with the Eagle brewery built in its centenary year. It produces more than 100 million litres of beer every year.

In the 1870s, Charles Wells arrived back in Bedford after twenty years at sea and fell in love with Josephine Grimbley. After settling down he took a risk and bought a brewery and thirty-two pubs at auction and, over the next 40 years, built a thriving business - increasing production from 3,229 barrels in 1876 to 26,000 in 1910.

The brewery remains a family business and continues to grow through business acquisitions across the UK.

The firm employs around 300 people, who will all transfer to Marston's.


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