Arran Brewery swoops on English drinks rival

A SMALL Scottish brewer has signalled its intent to gatecrash the money-spinning London and south east of England beer market by snapping up a micro English rival.
Gerald Michaluk, the Scottish firm's managing director. Picture: ContributedGerald Michaluk, the Scottish firm's managing director. Picture: Contributed
Gerald Michaluk, the Scottish firm's managing director. Picture: Contributed

Arran Brewery swooped to buy Devil’s Dyke Brewery in Cambridgeshire for an undisclosed price. Gerald Michaluk, the Scottish firm’s managing director, said he bought the currently disused assets as a “staging post to get into London”.

He said the site, eight miles outside Cambridge, would serve as a “distribution hub” to the English capital, Cambridge, Norwich and other parts of the south east of England.

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Michaluk also suggested further acquisitions were on the cards as Arran seeks to expand.

“Watch this space,” he said. “We are looking for breweries in strategic locations which will give us access to other prime markets in the UK.”

After recommissioning ­Devil’s Dyke on 1 May, the firm says it will add the English group’s beers to its existing Scottish range, and will introduce its Arran ales to the south-east of England.

Michaluk said he also plans to introduce some new ales at the English site that will have “an Arran twist”.

The company, based on the island in the Firth of Clyde, said that the acquisition will add 100 casks to its stock of ales, and that is also plans to redesign the English brewery’s logo.

Arran’s expansion is being fuelled by crowdfunding, aiming to raise £500,000 later in 2015 after having already got investors to stump up £260,000.

In total, Michaluk said he aims to raise £4.2 million.

The group was hit by thieves three times in as many weeks late last year after moving from its Firth of Clyde base to open a new development in Dreghorn, near Kilmarnock.