Liberation Group targets supermarkets after buying Butcombe brewery

Channel Islands drinks business Liberation Group has bought Bristol brewery Butcombe to form a company that brews 30,000 barrels a year.

The resulting retail, wholesale and on-trade business now employs more than 750 staff.

The Liberation Group was formed in 2008 and owns the Liberation brewery, 75 pubs, two retail outlets and a wholesale business, making it the leading player in the Channel Islands.

It will sell Butcombe’s range of beers throughout the Channel Islands, and aim to export bottled Liberation ales to UK supermarkets “with whom Butcombe already has excellent relationships” as the combined business benefits from “stronger buying power and supply opportunities”.

Mark Crowther, chief Executive of Liberation Group, said: “We have been looking for some time for the right UK business to acquire as part of our longer term growth strategy. This marks the start of the exciting next chapter for Liberation and Butcombe both of whom share the same passion for quality beers and great pubs.

“The enlarged group provides the perfect bridge head platform for further future growth in the UK market. We are really looking forward to welcoming the Butcombe team into the Liberation Group.”

Guy Newell, managing director at Butcombe, added: “We have had significant interest from several UK pub and drinks businesses, but for us Liberation Group was by far the best fit.

“They share our ethos for high quality products and service and have proved, as we have, that being independent does not necessarily prevent you from being recognised for excellence alongside some of the biggest global names in the industry. This is a new chapter for both businesses and all of the team here is looking forward to being a part of that.”

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