Bedford becomes home to first Estrella Damm brewery outside of Spain

Estrella Damm conditioning tanks at the El Prat Brewery, Barcelona. Image: S.A. Damm
Estrella Damm conditioning tanks at the El Prat Brewery, Barcelona. Image: S.A. Damm

Almost 18 months after they bought Bedford’s Eagle Brewery, Spanish brewer S.A. Damm says they’ll be now using the site to brew their world-famous Estrella Damm beer from scratch, the first time they’ve done so outside of the Iberian Peninsular.

Bedford has a long history with Estrella Damm.

Since 2010, when local family brewers Charles Wells owned the Queen’s Park site, ‘bright beer’ has been sent here from their El Prat Brewery near Barcelona to be ‘finished off’ for packaging and distribution to 10,000 UK bars and restaurants.

S.A. Damm (Damm) continued this relationship with Marston’s, later Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company, when they bought the site in 2017, before acquiring the million-hectoliter site themselves in November 2022.

Now, there are reports they are investing £50m in the brewery to create a “state-of-the-art” facility that will produce “some formats” of Estrella Damm locally.

The Times says details published by law firm Taylor Wessing reveal Damm has acquired the Eagle Brewery site, which was previously owned by Carlsberg Marston.

But, while ownership of the brewery is not new news for Bedfordians, a spokesperson for the company suggests this is an ‘evolution’ of what they already own.

A spokesman for Damm told The Times: “The UK is the most important market for Estrella Damm outside its home country.

“This investment in Bedford, where we will be producing some formats, reflects our long-term commitment to the country and our devotion to UK consumers.

“Bedford is strategically located within the UK. Its proximity to London makes the location very attractive for us.”

The family-owned Damm brewery in Barcelona can be traced back to 1876. The equivalent of 150 pints of Estrella Damm are sold every minute in the UK.

Bedford investment

This marks (potentially) the third significant investment in Bedford in recent months.

Earlier this month, the Bedford Independent broke the news that US billionaires the Winklevoss twins were investing £3.6 million in Real Bedford FC:

Read: Real Bedford announce $4.5m investment from Gemini’s Winklevoss twins

And in December last year, we confirmed that Comcast, who own Universal Destinations & Experiences, had bought land near Stewartby to explore a possible Universal Studios theme park.

Read: Universal Studios confirm they are planning a theme park in Bedford Borough

A decision on whether they go ahead with the plans and submit an application to build the park is expected before the end of this year.

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