London pub company Young's is to sell its famous Ram's Brewery site in London's Wandsworth, as reported last week in Caterer (18 May, 2006).
Young's is setting up a joint venture with Charles Wells, based in Bedfordshire, which will see the creation of the Wells & Young's Brewing Company at the latter's Eagle brewery.
The new entity, which Young's will have a 40% stake in, will be a major new force in the cask ale market producing 500,000 barrels annually.
The move opens up the way for the sale of the prime 5.5-acre site. A spokesman for the company confirmed it was in advanced talks with a developer and that a considerable premium over the site's book value of £11.3m was likely.
The relocation will result in 95 brewing and production redundancies at Young's, although 35 new posts will be created at the Eagle Brewery.
John Young, managing director of Young's, said: "The decision to sell the Ram Brewery site in our 175th year was taken with some reluctance, but as I promised when we first announced that we were launching the brewing review in 2003, my head has ruled my heart."
Distribution and warehousing will remain at Wandsworth until its relocation to a new satellite depot in 2007. At this time the Young's head office staff will also be relocated to a new office within the capital.
Brewing has taken place at the Ram brewery since the sixteenth century, with Young's taking over in 1831.
By Chris Druce