Text of press release from Hydes dated 6 January 2012:
Hydes Plans to Relocate BreweryNow, I've long felt that, amongst the four Greater Manchester family breweries, Hydes were the most likely to substantially recast their business in some way, and so it has proven. Only time will tell whether it works out as they foresee...
Hydes has today announced its intention to close its ageing Queens Brewery in Moss Side and move to a new facility within the locality late in 2012. The Company has identified a number of suitable premises that meet its needs for the future and will commit an investment of some £2.0m to the new site.
The new facility will be far more efficient than the existing plant and will focus exclusively on the production of high quality beers targeted at the growing cask ale sector. This will include popular favourites such as Hydes Original and Manchester’s Finest as well as a diverse range of seasonal and themed craft ales.
As the closure will involve the potential loss of a number of jobs at the Moss Side site, the Company has entered into a period of consultation with all staff concerned. Nonetheless the sizeable investment in the new brewery would enable the company to protect the interests of a number of skilled staff who would be critical to the success of the new brewery. Every effort will be made to help any staff affected by these changes to find alternative roles.
Linked to this proposed change Hydes has also decided to withdraw from supplying the free trade market. Following this decision the company is pleased to announce that it has agreed to sell its free trade interests to Daniel Thwaites PLC to ensure continuity of supply to free trade customers. This sale will complete on 16th January 2012. Hydes free trade sales team and some free trade support staff will transfer to Thwaites as part of this deal.
“This was a very difficult decision for us to take and although it will be sad to see brewing end at Queens Brewery it is simply not sustainable” commented Hydes Managing Director Chris Hopkins. “The site was built over 150 years ago and is not able to meet the challenges of efficient production and distribution of beer in the 21st century. Given the imminent conclusion of a major contract brewing arrangement the site is not suitable for the company’s future requirements, particularly given the level of maintenance expenditure which will only increase as time goes by. We very much regret the likelihood of job losses but in order for the company to remain competitive in a very challenging sector there is no realistic alternative.
He concluded by saying “The proposed investment in the new brewery indicates Hydes continuing commitment to the brewing of great cask ales in Manchester. These changes will also allow for an increased management focus on the company’s pub estate and will accelerate plans for capital investment in refurbishments and the acquisition of new sites such as the John Millington in Cheadle and the Joshua Bradley in Gee Cross”.