Carlsberg Marston's Brewing Company is a British brewing company. It was formed when Marston's plc disposed of its brewing operations in 2020, selling the assets to a newly formed joint venture with the Carlsberg Group to create the Carlsberg Marston's Brewing Company (CMBC), in which Marston's plc holds a 40% share.

History edit

In May 2020, it was announced that subject to competition law and shareholder approval, Marston's plc would merge its brewing business with Carlsberg UK (the United Kingdom arm of Carlsberg Group), into a joint venture valued at £780m. Marston's will take a 40% stake in the joint venture and receive up to £273m in cash. The deal will involve Marston's six breweries and distribution depots, but not its 1,400 pubs.[1][2] The merger was approved by the Competition and Markets Authority on 9 October 2020. The new brewing company will be headquartered in Wolverhampton and be known as Carlsberg Marston's Brewing Company. It was also announced that the transaction was expected to be completed by the end of October 2020.[3]

Operations edit

The Marston's Brewery in Burton upon Trent, 2009

The company owns and operates six breweries (as of July 2020):[4]

  • The Park Brewery in Wolverhampton brews Banks's and Mansfield beers plus most Thwaites beers under contract, and is the company's main head office.
  • The Marston's Brewery in Burton upon Trent brews Marston's and Bass plus Tetley's beers under contract.
  • The Jennings Brewery in Cockermouth
  • The Wychwood Brewery in Witney (which includes the Brakspear Brewhouse)
  • The Ringwood Brewery in Ringwood, Hampshire
  • The Eagle Brewery, (formerly Charles Wells) Bedford brews Bombardier, Courage, Waggle Dance, the global Young's licence and Scottish brands McEwan's and William Younger

Brewing methods edit

Marston's is the only remaining brewer to use Burton Union Sets, a system whereby fermentation barrels and troughs are linked together by pipework.[5] The basic principle is one of preventing excessive beer and yeast loss through foaming, but the consequence is that the beer is in contact with more wood and with more beer, fermenting in a bigger volume, typically totalling about 100 barrels or 160 hectolitres. That results in a more consistent flavour and very little chance of a whole batch being ruined. All other large-scale brewers have abandoned that method in favour of stainless steel fermenting vessels, which while they ensure (through volume) a consistent flavour, limit the use of traditional yeast varieties. They make selective use of the unusual double dropping process (for example, in the production of Brakspear Bitter),[6] which introduces complex flavours by a period of accelerated yeast growth.[7]

Beers edit

The Marston's Arena at Northwich Victoria F.C.

The main beers are Mansfield, Wainwright, Marston's Pedigree and EPA, McEwans Export, McEwan's Special, Bombardier, Wychwood Hobgoblin, Jennings Cumberland Ale, and Banks's Bitter and Mild. Despite a general UK-wide decline in the popularity of mild ales, Banks's Mild still outsells its stablemate bitter in the West Midlands market and is the best-selling mild ale in the world.[8] The company also owns Sunbeam, a blonde beer which is brewed and distributed from the Banks's brewery based in Wolverhampton. Sunbeam was first produced in 2011, to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Wolverhampton achieving city status.[9]

Half of all its beer is bottled.[10] Marston's brews Draught Bass for AB InBev and Tetley Bitter, Mild and Dark Mild for Carlsberg.[11] Marston's Pedigree is a 4.3% ABV bitter.[12] Introduced in 1952, it is Marston's flagship brand, selling 150,000 hectolitres in 2010.[12] It is the only beer to use the oak Burton Union System so that it is fermented in wood; the ingredients are mineral enriched Burton Water, malted barley, and Fuggles and Goldings hops.[12]

Wainwright is one of the company's best-selling beers and is brewed at the Banks's Brewery in Wolverhampton. It is a 4.1% ABV golden ale named in honour of the famous fell walker and author Alfred Wainwright. Marston's acquired the brand from Thwaites in 2015. In 2016, the Thwaites branding was dropped and the beer was rebranded "The golden beer".[13]

The acquisition of Charles Wells's Eagle Brewery in Bedford increased Marston's share of the British ale market. It also widened its geographical reach giving it southern English brands Bombardier, Waggledance, Courage, the global Young's licence and Scottish brands McEwan's and William Younger.[14]

Sponsorship edit

From 2007 to 2017, Marston's had a sponsorshop agreement with the England and Wales Cricket Board, whereby Marston's Pedigree was the official beer of the England Cricket team. Marston's was the official supplier of beer at all home test matches and had exclusive beer advertising rights.[15]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Marston's and Carlsberg UK announce £780m merger - BBC News". BBC News. 22 May 2020. Retrieved 23 May 2020.
  2. ^ Rob Davies (22 May 2020). "Brewers Carlsberg UK and Marston's announce merger | Business". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 May 2020.
  3. ^ Pugh, James (9 October 2020). "Regulator approves Carlsberg's £780m joint venture with Marston's".
  4. ^ "The Marstn's Free Way". Morning Advertiser. 2 February 2010. Retrieved 22 April 2017.
  5. ^ Hornsey, Ian Spencer (1999). Brewing. Royal Society of Chemistry. p. 127. ISBN 978-0-85404-568-6.
  6. ^ Asserted on label
  7. ^ Burton Union sets Archived 29 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "Why mild ale is enjoying a revival « Express & Star". Retrieved 30 March 2015.
  9. ^ "Marston's-owned Banks's Brewery to bring back Sunbeam for summer 2012". The Caterer. 21 March 2012. Retrieved 10 April 2016.
  10. ^ "Marston's unveil new £7.4m bottling line". Burton Mail. Archived from the original on 22 February 2014. Retrieved 30 March 2015.
  11. ^ CAMRA Good Beer Guide; 2010
  12. ^ a b c Oliver, Garrett (2011). The Oxford Companion to Beer. Oxford University Press. p. 573. ISBN 978-0-19-536713-3.
  13. ^ "Marston's in £25m swoop for Thwaites' brewing business « Express & Star". 31 March 2015. Retrieved 22 April 2017.
  14. ^ "Real ale brewery sold to pub giant". BBC News. 18 May 2017. Retrieved 16 June 2019.
  15. ^ "Marston's renews as official beer of England cricket team". 25 October 2013. Retrieved 30 March 2015.

External links edit