Bath Ales, including its Beerd craft beer bars and Graze bar restaurants, has been acquired by Cornwall-based brewer and pub group St Austell.
The deal, for an undisclosed amount, includes the brewery between Bath and Bristol, the portfolio of beer brands such as Gem, and all 11 pubs and bars.
The estate includes Beerd bars in Oxford and St Michael’s Hill and Colston in Bristol and Graze in Bath, Bristol and Cirencester as well as pubs and bars such as Colston St Bar & Kitchen.
James Staughton, chief executive of St Austell Brewery, said: “For a long time Bath Ales has been a company I have admired and this exciting acquisition provides the coming together of two like-minded businesses.
“Bath Ales brews great beer and has a thriving pub estate both of which complement those of St Austell Brewery and with the acquisition we are committing to a long-term significant investment in the Bath Ales brands, pub estate, people and brewing facilities.
“We already operate a successful free-trade business across the region, and a wholesale service to free-trade customers, which will also bring additional routes to market for Bath Ales’ beers.”
Roger Jones, founder of Bath Ales, said: “This is a really exciting move for Bath Ales. With the investment and broader support from St Austell Brewery we are better placed to capture the opportunity that exists for Bath Ales.
“We are confident that we can also make a strong contribution to their operations so that the combined organisation can really set the standard for quality beers and outstanding venues.”
All of Bath Ales’ beer brands will continue to be brewed at the Bath Ales Brewery where a schedule of investment to expand the brewing and packaging facilities will take place. All of St Austell Brewery’s beers will continue to be brewed in Cornwall.
Current Bath Ales directors will play an active role during the transition and integration process, including managing director Roger Jones who co-founded the business in 1995.
Dating back to 1851, independent family-owned St Austell Brewery owns 167 pubs across the south-west and produces beers such as Tribute Cornish Pale Ale.
James added: “As a business, St Austell Brewery has a strong commitment to Cornwall and south-west England and the deal supports our strategy to strengthen and extend our presence in the Bristol and Bath region.
“Together St Austell Brewery and Bath Ales will deliver solid and distinctive offerings to customers combining conscious innovation, service excellence and the scaling of what works.”
Roger added: “From the first contact with St Austell Brewery we genuinely found people and an operation that have a consistent set of values and the same commitment to quality. The combined business will be a force to be reckoned with.”
Pictured is Beerd in Colston, Bristol. Photograph by Evoke Pictures.