Packaging staff at Bedford’s Eagle Brewery have been told they’re facing redundancy after owners, Marston’s, said they were reducing the packaging side of the business locally.
“There will be 17 roles made redundant at the Eagle Brewery following a decision to move the reduced cask racking operations and keg packaging teams,” said Emma Gilleland, Director of Brewing at Marston’s.
“This is due to the increasingly challenging market and reduced demand for cask beer across the UK over the last 12 months.”
The changes will take effect during October.
Marston’s bought the brewery and the majority of its brands, such as Bombardier and Eagle, the Young’s brands, and the brewing and distribution rights to Estrella and Kirin, from Wells & Co in May 2017.
A spokesperson for Marston’s also revealed that “some [brewing] activity is moving to Burton”. But the company wouldn’t reveal which of their beer brands this would include.
Marston’s is not alone in having to adapt to changing drinking trends. Industry reports say that cask ale is on the decline generally.
Insight and data agency, CGA, revealed that in the 12 months up to January this year, there was a drop in volume from 2.7m hectolitres to 2.4m.
That’s a value decreases from £1.6bn to £1.4bn.
However, the spokesperson for Marston’s said they were performing slightly ahead of the national average.
The brewing giant also reiterated it was still committed to Bedford.
They’ve recently signed sponsorship deals to support the Bedford River Festival, Bedford Blues, Bedford Park Concerts and Spectacularts over the next few years.
Emma Gilleland also added these redundancies wouldn’t affect beers popular in this area.
“Eagle IPA or Youngs beers… will continue to be brewed at Bedford along with our lager brewing commitments,” she said.