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Charles Wells moves on from Marston's sale with new brewery plans

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UK brewer Charles Wells is to build a GBP13m (US$18m) brewery to supply its pub network.

The new Charles Wells brewery will brew beer for the companys network of pubs

The new Charles Wells brewery will brew beer for the company's network of pubs

Planning permission for the 30,000 hectolitre facility in Bedford has been submitted and Charles Wells is aiming to start construction in early Summer. Production should begin before the end of 2019, a Charles Wells spokesperson told just-drinks.

The brewery will be separate to Charles Wells' former production plant - also in Bedford - that was sold to Marston's along with almost all of Charles Wells' beer brands last year. It will brew beer for Charles Wells pubs in the UK and France, which the brewer retained in the sale.

The brewer said the plans signal a fresh direction for Charles Wells, with the brewery expected to create "exciting, new beers" for the company. It will also include a visitors centre and serve as a training hub for pub owners.

"The new Charles Wells brewery will be a shining example of how traditional brewers can turn the evolution of the brewing industry to their advantage, listening to their pub partners to create beers that attract customers from far and wide," said commercial director Peter Wells.

Plans for the brewery were mooted last year after the Marston's purchase. As part of the GBP55m (US$71m) deal, Marston's took control of Charles Well's current Bedford brewery and beer brands including Bombardier, Courage and McEwan's. Charles Wells' pubs in the UK and France were not included in the transaction, while the Charlie Wells and John Bull beers also remained part of the reduced company.

The spokesperson said Charles Wells has an agreement for its pubs to buy beer from Marston's Bedford brewery but it is not clear how long that deal will last.

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Sectors: Beer & cider

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