Friday, July 01, 2016

Has the Bubble Burst ?

If you have read the previous post, you will have found that Hornbeam brewery of Manchester has just produced its last beer, That is a shame as I quite enjoyed their beers, but in the recent past they only seem to have been available close to their home area.

This revelation started a conversation with the Bar Fringe barman, who is a knowledgeable guy , about the demise of the brewery. He reminded me that there are several other breweries in the Manchester area that have ceased brewing the recent past. Boggart and Allgates are two others at least, but I am sure there are more.

The concern here is that these are larger breweries, well established in their own area,but one's that seem not to be able to cope with the massive influx of the new wave of breweries in the area. Hornbeam had been brewing for nearly 10 years, the other two even longer; if breweries of this pedigree feel unable to continue, what of the rest of the brewing world ?

There may be personal reasons I am unaware of to close the breweries, but I am sure that the newer breweries ethos may also be a reason. The older breweries brewed beer, and sold it to pubs in casks. Often via a wholesaler.They rarely bothered with kegging, or canning, just occasionally bottling their beer. The new wave seem to be totally the opposite.

I am not criticising their practices - you have to move with the times. But the new wave beers are more often seen on keg, and in cans with cask being a small part of their output. Their sales often coming through brewery swaps, doing away with the middle man. This seems to be the way forward and what the new generation of drinkers wants and consequently the older generation of brewers who are reluctant or fail to adapt may fall by the way side.

I hope this is not the case and there is enough capacity in the brewing industry to support both the old and the new, but on the strength of yesterday I am not so sure. Watch this space


Since I wrote this I have received information that my suggestion that Allgates has closed is incorrect, although brewing is currently suspended. If this is the case and I have caused any distress I apologise. Timbo

1 comment:

Phil said...

I haven't seen any evidence that either Boggart or Allgates has closed.

Shame about Hornbeam - I really rated them when they first appeared, but haven't had any of theirs for some time; the last few I tried were just a bit too ordinary. A couple of seriously dodgy pumpclips didn't help, either.