A POPULAR North Yorkshire brewery says it is ‘business as usual’ and it is NOT for sale.

However, The Cropton Brewery, which also operates the New Inn in the village of Cropton, near Pickering, says it is seeking capital investment to help it progress into the future.

The brewery, founded by bothers Paul and Philip Lee, along with the New Inn pub and related businesses, were reported locally yesterday to be on the market for £7.5million.

However, Managing director Philip Lee told the Press today (Tue): “That advert should have been taken down last year. We took it off sale last November. I have been trying to get hold of the agent.”


Reportage of the ‘sale’ Philip says, led to some cancellations of brewery tours.

“As if things aren’t bad enough. I must have also had ten messages asking ‘is my job safe.’”

The Lee family regained control of the brewery, which they founded in 1984, last summer "after a short period of management by a separate entity.”

Since then, the family have been working on ensuring a long-term future for the businesses, including contract brewing for other brewers.

York Press: Brewery staff

Philip said: “In the brewing industry and the pub industry only the strong will survive. Hopefully, we will be one of them.”

The brewery is looking at ‘going green’ and there will be new brands.

However, the brewery is not looking to be taken over as being part of a larger entity would mean having to pay higher duties.

Thus, the Cropton Brewery won’t become part of the Black Sheep flock. It’s purchasers London-based Breal Group has been buying up other breweries since taking over the Masham-based brewery last May.  

Philip expects he will be able to make a more formal announcement in a couple of months.

Until then, it remains “business as usual.”

He added: “We are looking for investment. We will have an investment pitch ready soon.”

The sales particulars displayed on the National Business Sales website details the brewery, pub and related activities.

It comments: “Unique opportunity to acquire a forward-thinking company with outstanding products fit for a global market.

“A ready made ‘Story’ with a customer ‘Visitor Attraction’ to compound the credibility

“Based in one of the most famous ‘National Parks’ in the U.K. and Europe.

“Steeped in history, brewing in the village for over 400 years.”

The agents said the 970m2 brewery has a capacity of 1,000 barrels a week, capable of generating a turnover of £12million a year.

The beer distribution company has a £9m a year turnover, offering a national distribution chain to 5,000 pubs, with contracts with some of the largest pub companies in the UK.

The 569m2 coaching inn has 11 beds, a 150 cover restaurant and a 9 acre campsite.

There are also four further properties offering ten more bedrooms.

The Press has approached National Business Sales for comment.