Yorkshire brewery sold to Sonas Capital after 20 years, securing jobs in the process

By William Dodds

- Last updated on GMT

Dave and Christy Hughes have sold Acorn Brewery to Sonas Capital
Dave and Christy Hughes have sold Acorn Brewery to Sonas Capital

Related tags Business Beverages

Yorkshire-based Acorn Brewery has been sold to Sonas Capital, a business acquisition and development specialist.

Founded in 2003, the beer maker produces up to 170 brewer-barrels a week at its Barnsley facility and has a turnover of around £1m per year.

Acorn Brewery’s core range includes its Barnsley Bitter (3.8% abv) and the Old Moor Porter (4.4% abv). More recently, it has also added a stout and three ales to its repertoire.

Founder Dave Hughes will remain involved with the business in a consultancy role, while fellow director Christy Hughes has decided to retire from her marketing and sales position. The sale has secured the jobs of the brewery’s seven employees and a new general manager will be recruited.

The manufacturer directly supplies pubs and bars across the North of England, but also partners with wholesalers and pub companies. Its core focus has remained on cask beer, although it also produces keg and bottled options.

We have enjoyed 20 successful years since launching in Barnsley with just my late first wife Judy and our current brewer Steve Bunting​,” said Dave Hughes.

Throughout lockdowns we continually brewed, pouring the beer away, to regularly refresh our unique original Barnsley Brewery yeast strain from the 1800s, so we recovered quickly. Now we feel we have taken the business as far as we can, and we are handing it on in very good shape to Sonas.​”

Sonas Capital managing director, Brendan Fitzpatrick, said that the firm was keen to replicate the previous owner’s “love​” for creating beer.

Acorn has an outstanding reputation for their product quality and great service, and we see the business as a perfect fit for our portfolio,” ​Fitzpatrick added.

“We are dedicated to empowering companies through investment and strong marketing to realise their full potential. Dave will move to a more technical and creative role alongside the brewing team whilst the Sonas team will focus on the development and growth of the business in what are challenging times for the industry​."

In other news, Food Manufacture has taken a closer look at how new alcohol duty rates could impact the beer industry in the UK​.

Related topics Drinks Operations

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