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S A Brain;s new home: Courtney House, Pacific Business Park with existing Crawshay Street site earmarked for mixed development

S A Brain plans new premises, brewery

S A Brain is streamlining its brewing operation and moving its headquarters across Cardiff to new premises in the Pacific Business Park.

Precise plans for the new brewery are still being finalised, but a spokesman explained that it has been difficult for the brewer “to produce a range of products in line with market trends and our own customer research… because of the configuration and large scale of the plant at Crawshay Street.

“The new brewery at Courtney House will be fit-for-purpose and will give us that flexibility. Although the exact output volume and configuration of the site is still being established, we anticipate continuing with a level of contract brewing in addition to producing our own beers.”

Contracts have been exchanged on the new site and a planning application will be submitted before the end of the year. Head office and support functions are expected to move over in May or June 2018, by which time Brains hopes to have completed most of the building work for the new brewery.

Production at the new site is expected to begin early in 2019.

The current brewing site at Crawshay Street, which the company took over from Bass in the late 1990s, is earmarked for a mixed development that will retain a Brains presence in the shape of a pub, microbrewery and visitor attraction beneath the landmark brewery chimney.

Chief executive Scott Waddington said the move “presents a real opportunity for full modernisation that will ready the business for the future.

“Courtney House offers us the ideal facility to construct a modern, fit-for-purpose new brewery, in addition to developing the first floor into a high-quality office space. With a contract now in place, our efforts will turn to the interior design of the building, which we will enhance for our own purposes and use to establish the Brains culture in our new home.”

Brains will be just the latest family brewer in the age of craft to close a large-scale brewery and replace it with an operation that is better tuned to falling beer volumes and a more fragmented marketplace.

Hydes of Manchester, Daniel Thwaites of Blackburn, Charles Wells of Bedford and Everards of Leicester are pursuing a similar strategy.

Phil Mellows
1st December 2017

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