I am sure that many beer lovers will be familiar with Suffolk-based St Peter’s Brewery, with its distinctive oval-shaped bottles and diverse range of interesting beers. Founded in 1996, the brewery is based in former agricultural buildings alongside the historic St Peter’s Hall, in the village of St Peter South Elmham, close to the town of Bungay.
St Peter’s could be described as one of the UK's pioneering craft brewers, long before the term became fashionable, and alongside a range of “traditional” beers, such as Best Bitter, Pale Ale and Golden Ale, produce a host of other interesting beers, including porters, stout, pilsner and the odd fruit beer.
So far, so good, but the reason I am writing about St Peter’s is the news that the company has been bought by a group of private individuals, for an undisclosed sum. This follows the decision of brewery founder, John Murphy, to retire after 23 years, during which he developed and ran the business.
Although selling St Peter’s was a difficult decision for John, he is delighted to have found a team that will continue his legacy and continue to make high quality, traditional beers. This is especially important given the loyal following St Peter's attracts, in over 20 countries.The new owners are friends who have worked together and share a passion for beer. The team will be led by Derek Jones; a seasoned beer man with more than 20 years of global beer experience, including at Molson Coors and SABMiller. Following the announcement of the takeover, Derek said, “This is an incredibly exciting new chapter for St Peter's Brewery. The company has strong roots and a very distinctive identity. It is a powerful platform from which to grow the business into the future.”
He went on to say that “John Murphy had a clear vision for the brand, and we want to build on that.” He pledged to invest in the Suffolk brewery from the outset, and to maintain quality while meeting growing demand.
So, some a positive development, coming at a time when good news is in short supply. I was alerted to the takeover, by a press release forwarded by Nikki Whiteford, who also kindly supplied the high-resolution photos used to illustrate this post.
Most are self-explanatory, whilst the final shot shows new CEO Derek Jones toasting the deal at the Jerusalem Tavern with former owner and founder John Murphy.