Friday, 10 April 2009

Cow goes to market

There’s a growing spate of cash-strapped pub companies selling off some of the crown jewels of their estates to independent family brewers. Both Fullers and Adnams have recently bought batches of pubs from Punch Taverns and now local brewer Robinson’s have got in on the act with the acquisition of the Dun Cow at Ollerton on the A537 east of Knutsford.

Clearly the family brewers are demonstrating faith in the future by making such deals and should be better placed to give these pubs a clear identity and take a long-term view of running them. So often pub companies seem to have fallen victim to every short-term marketing wheeze going while allowing the fabric of their estate to slowly deteriorate.

It’s ages since I’ve been in the Dun Cow, an attractive ex-Greenalls house prominently situated on a bend in the road. In recent years it has sprouted the dreaded legend “Country pub and dining”, which is a clear sign to the lover of real pubs to go elsewhere. It is to be hoped that Robinson’s will be able to give it a bit more pub character, although their refurbishment of the nearby Windmill at Tabley doesn’t give much grounds for confidence.

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