29 September 2023

Another UK brewery heritage gone: Carlsberg closes Wychwood brewery

United Kingdom | These are bad times for ale breweries: Within the span of 12 months, Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company (CMBC) is shuttering three heritage breweries: After Jennings in Cumbria and Ringwood in Hampshire, the Wychwood Brewery in Oxfordshire is to cease operations in November this year with the loss of six jobs.

The company said on 13 September that the closure was in line with the break clause in CMBC’s lease with the landlord. Wychwood’s brands, such as Hobgoblin, Firecatcher and Dry Neck, will continue to be brewed in the CMBC network.

Paul Davies, chief executive of CMBC, was quoted as saying: “We understand the depth of feeling towards Wychwood Brewery, and have tremendous pride in our team there. Our number one focus is giving staff all the support they need as we begin the consultation on this proposal.”

CAMRA National Chairman Nik Antona commented: “CAMRA never wants to see the closure of any brewery, be it large or small, traditional, or contemporary, and too many across the UK are shutting their doors forever at an alarming rate. Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company’s (CMBC) proposal to close Wychwood brewery in Witney this November is the latest in a growing list of casualties at the hands of global brewers.

“Whilst it is heartening to know that the Wychwood brand will continue in some fashion at CMBC and the iconic Brakspear Double Drop beer will live on at Banks’s, it is a great shame for Oxfordshire to lose such a classic, recognisable brewery.

“Fresh off the heels of closing the Jennings brewery in Cumbria and selling off Ringwood brewery in Hampshire, it is worrying to see the UK’s brewing heritage slowly erode. The diminishing consumer choice at the hands of the commercial giants is of great concern.”

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