UK – Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company (CMBC), the joint venture between Carlsberg UK and Marston’s Brewery, will close its Jennings Brewery in Cockermouth next month.

Jennings Brewery, which was established in 1828 as a family business and has been situated in Cockermouth since 1874, was acquired by Marston’s in 2005 and was folded into CMBC when the Wolverhampton-headquartered firm merged with Carlsberg UK in 2020.

CMBC said the brewery had operated below capacity for many years and has seen a significant decline in output volumes, the impact of which has been made more significant by the pandemic.

The company added that over the course of the past year, it has carefully considered all options for the brewery and has settled on the extremely difficult decision to close the brewery.

The brewer is now exploring options for the site, including selling the facility, while the logistics side of the firm will continue to operate normally until it finally closes its doors in October.

Following the closure, Jennings Cumberland Cask ale and bottled beer brands will be produced at Marston’s Brewery in Burton.

CMBC said it is providing support to the five members of staff based at the site and is “actively exploring opportunities for redeployment” within the group.

CMBC chief executive Paul Davies said: “We understand the great affection the local community has for the brewery, and its place as part of the UK’s brewing heritage,” he said. “We are pleased to continue brewing Cumberland Cask by moving production to the historic Marston’s Brewery in Burton, which has a fantastic track record producing traditional cask beers.

Just as the news will be very difficult for the team at Jennings and disappointing to many other colleagues, consumers, and customers, the company explained that with the economic headwinds impacting the industry it must continue to make difficult choices.

The choice is of a belief to ensure CMBC is well placed to navigate the unprecedented external challenges it is facing and ensure the company is able to grow and sustain its position as a leading business in the brewing industry.

Sustainability efforts

Recently, CMBC introduced two electric HGV trucks to its fleet as part of its broader sustainability efforts.

The vehicles operate out of the company’s Cardiff and Thurrock (Essex) distribution depots and can deliver 10,000 freshly brewed pints to pubs per day.

Sarah Perry, vice president of customer supply chain at Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company said the introduction of the new electric trucks brings the company closer to a 30% reduction in carbon emissions across its value chain by the 2030 target while ensuring its customers continue to receive the quality of service that they expect.

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