Carlsberg’s UK venture has been unable to find a buyer for Ringwood Brewery, six months after putting the site in southern England up for sale.
In June, Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company (CMBC) set out plans to put the brewery – as well as ale brands including Razorback, Old Thumper, Boondoggle and Fortyniner – on the market.
Ten staff are employed at the site. CMBC said it would “consult on the proposals” with the staff “over the coming weeks”. The brewery will continue to run in that time.
The logistics operation that was carried out at Ringwood has already been moved to CMBC’s sites in Tiverton and in Farnborough.
In a statement, Paul Davies, the CEO of CMBC, said: “Having, over the last six months, been unable to secure a sale of our Ringwood Brewery operation in Hampshire, we have made the difficult decision to announce our intention to close the site.
“Given its limited space and residential location, the expansion and improvements required for the site to be competitive would be challenging and extremely costly. While we believe this is the right course of action for our business it is by no means a decision we have taken lightly.”
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Under the plans, the brewing for the cask variants of Razorback, Fortyniner and Boondoggle is set to be moved to CMBC’s Banks’s Brewery in the Midlands city of Wolverhampton.
The cask brewing for Old Thumper is lined up to go further east to Marston’s Brewery.
Razorback, Boondoggle and Fortyniner bottles are already brewed at the Marston’s site.
The plan to shut the Ringwood Brewery facility is the latest closure CMBC has made in the last year.
In September, the brewer said it would close its Wychwood Brewery in Oxfordshire, pointing to a competitive ale market and a “turbulent economic outlook” in the UK.
In May, CMBC sold its already closed London Fields Brewery and taproom to London pub operator Grace Land Group.
Last year, the venture sold Eagle Brewery to S.A. Damm, a deal that gave the Spanish group its first brewery in the UK.
CMBC also announced the winding down and closure of Jennings Brewery in September last year. The Lake District facility in north-west England had been operating at below capacity and the group said it had seen a “significant decline in volumes” in recent years.
Despite the competitive environment and growth of spirits brands and better for you beverages in recent years, the value of the UK's ale market is forecast to grow steadily over the next four years. GlobalData predicts that the UK ale market will be worth $5.2bn in 2027.