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Wiltshire breweries announce merger

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Martin Hender of Castle Combe Brewery and lain Morrisonof Flying MonkMartin Hender of Castle Combe Brewery and lain Morrisonof Flying MonkTwo north Wiltshire breweries have announced their merger.

Flying Monk and Castle Combe Breweries merged on Friday, and will operate as Flying Monk Brewery incorporating The Castle Combe Brewery, the directors announced.

lain Morrison, chairman of the Flying Monk, said: "It is recognised that the cask ale market has become increasingly competitive over the last few years with a significant number of players in a diminishing market.

“Our thinking is that by joining two of the region's breweries together we will strengthen the financial position of the joint business.

“We will reduce duplication of cost and enjoy a more effective utilisation of equipment, as well as now taking full advantage of the considerable cross­ selling opportunities this merger presents.

“We will therefore be investing in new fermentation vessels and cellar facilities to support the planned increase in sales.

“We have also embarked on obtaining the industry standard certification of SALSA which benchmarks the Brewery to established standards.

“New procedures are being introduced to ensure that all of our staff are trained to meet the highest standards required for the production of quality ales."

The Castle Combe Brewery site at Preston, Chippenham, will close at the beginning of July and all brewing will be undertaken at the Flying Monk Brewery facilities at Hullavington.

There are also plans to cover pub chains, wholesale and export markets, as well as a major push in to bottling.

Martin Hender, managing director of Castle Combe Brewery, said: "We have spent considerable time together to make sure that you the customer will have continuity of supply during the transfer process and the same lines of communication, ot to mention the rapid level of response only a regional brewery can offer."

Martin will be joining the Flying Monk Brewery Board as an equal shareholder, assuming overall responsibility for trade sales.