New co-owner Mark Hunter, co-founder of Leeds-based IT and business consultancy BJSS, which has clients including Government departments and the NHS, will take a seat on the board of directors and will not be involved in the day-to-day running of the business. The brewery will continue to be led by co-owner and pub company founder Jamie Lawson.
Commenting on the deal, Lawson said: “Taking on a business partner with Mark’s experience at this time will provide funding and knowledge for the next, really exciting chapter of our growth.
“Our strategy is to take advantage of our newly developed and modernised brewery in Ossett through increased production whilst growing our freehold Ossett pub estate.”
The deal included Ossett Brewery and its 26 retail sites – including 19 traditional pubs and restaurants – four ale and live music centric bars trading as The Hop and the recently formed new business of Salt Beer Factory and its own city centre bars, branded Craft Asylum.
“Salt Beer Factory, based in the UNESCO village of Saltaire, will begin canning its own products in 2019, with exciting new IPA and lager products launched in keg and canned format,” Lawson added.
Craft Asylum success
“Salt also plans to open new Craft Asylum sites next year after the success of the first two sites in Leeds city centre.”
The past year has seen a number of breweries invest in their businesses, or receive investment to help their companies grow.
In August, independent brewer Purity Brewing Company secured £7.5m in funding from investment company Business Growth Fund.
Meanwhile, in October, Huddersfield-based Magic Rock Brewing invested £850,000 in a new canning line, following rapid expansion at the business.