Campaigning for good beer in good pubs in north Lancashire and the Ingleborough area

CAMRA Lunesdale

Pub Companies

This page attempts to list all the firms which own or operate more than one pub in this area. Some of these are also brewing firms, others are ‘pubcos’. This list is intended to give an idea of what to expect from each company’s pubs in this area. For fuller details, see elsewhere, for instance, the back pages of the Good Beer Guide.
Admiral Taverns
Formed 2003, now a big national company with a diverse range of pubs. Range of cask ales in the local pub.
Pub list
AG Enterprises
Formed in 2015. Have bought four (?) Mitchells pubs, which they are progressively doing up.
Pub list
Amber Taverns
Amber Taverns are a Blackpool-based company with 70-odd pubs from Staffordshire to Northumberland. Despite this, they only acquired a single pub in this area in 2013, but they are actively buying. They are very pro-cask ale, but the choice isn’t always very exciting. They are owned by private equity firm LGV and run by the team that used to run Honeycombe Leisure.
Pub list
Bravo Inns
Based in Warrington, with 30-40 pubs mainly between the Ribble and the Mersey but buying and expanding. Low prices and sports TV.
Pub list
Brunning & Price
Chester-based chain, upmarket and food-led but with good beer. Have operated mostly in the midlands but now expanding their scope.
Pub list
C2 Investments
Currently own four pubs, with one in Lancaster and one in Morecambe. All have eight cask ales including Lancaster and Thwaites.
More...
Pub list
Carleton
A small Morecambe-based company
Pub list
Chameleon Pub Company
A small pubco reflecting one man’s vision. Six pubs (or perhaps pub-restaurants) in Tyneside and Yorkshire and two in our area. All sell cask ale.
Pub list
Craft Union Pub Company
Pubco formed 2015, based in Bamber Bridge. No other information yet.
Pub list
English Lakes Hotels
Five hotels, the two in our area with real ale
Pub list
Enterprise Inns
The nation's biggest pub owner having acquired pubs from various sources. These vary considerably, but familiar brands predominate. One or two pubs are now taking advantage of a deal whereby they can buy direct from micro-brewers, a move to be applauded.
Pub list
Fayre Inns
Small Lancashire firm, specialising in rural destinations. Real ale but little to excite.
Pub list
Greene King
This Suffolk brewer has now got two pubs in this area, gradually adding a few guest beers.
Pub list
Hydes Brewery
The old-established Manchester brewery opened a new pub in Lancaster in 2007, far from their other houses, which naturally sells their cask ales.
Pub list
Intercontinental Hotels Group
The former Bass, now a "leisure group". Has disposed of its pubs and breweries, mostly now owns branded hotels with no decent beer.
Pub list
Inventive Leisure
is the Ashton-under-Lyme based company behind Revolution Vodka Bars with one permanently closed pub in our area.
Pub list
James Places
Clitheroe-based firm currently owning three hotels where good beer features (and also a home furnishings shop).
Pub list
Kirklands Entertainments
Small local company. No cask beer.
Pub list
Lancaster Lounge & Bars
A couple of Lancaster entrepreneurs who started off in "lounging" bars and now run two establishments in Lancaster. Real ale never features highly if at all.
Pub list
Mitchells & Butlers
The last lot of former Bass pubs were spun off to a new firm taking the name of an old brewery. Branded pub chains; one pub locally, with a token cask ale.
Pub list
Marstons
The former Wolverhampton and Dudley Breweries, renamed after a more glamorous subsidiary. Whatever the name on head office, the Jennings name has the highest profile round here. Nearly all their pubs have cask beer, occasionally with beers from other companies. There are few in this area, but they are still buying, so this may change.
Pub list
Mitchells
A former local brewer. Now offers a pretty good choice of beers to its licensees. Selling pubs off quite rapidly.
More...
Pub list
private
means a traditional free house, ie, the owner has no other pubs. They are usually owned by individuals (who are not named here to avoid falling foul of the Data Protection Act) rather than companies.
Pub list
Provincial Hotels and Inns
Established by by hospitality management specialists Onecall Hospitality in June 2016 to acquire 11 Mitchells pubs. Are expected to buy more. Will continue to sell real ales, but it’s early days.
Pub list
Punch
One of the giant pubcos. Plenty of real ale, but too much of it is dull. Currently selling quite a few pubs.
Pub list
Robinsons
A well-known brewer.
Pub list
Inns & Leisure
Based in Preston. About 20 pubs and hotels, two in Lancaster. Beer-lovers should generally avoid.
Pub list
S Lakeland Caravans
Owns a string of caravan sites and holiday chalet parks around Morecambe Bay, where bars usually feature but cask beer doesn't.
Pub list
Samuel Smith
Only one pub, with no cask ale
Pub list
Seafood Pub Company
Established 2011, with the intention of having 10 premises in 5 years. So far have three, one in our area, the others in east Lancashire. All are pub-restaurants concentrating on world seafood.
Pub list
Spirit
Spun off twice from Punch: concentrates on branded managed pubs. Real ale mostly present but mostly not very exciting.
Pub list
Star Pubs and Bars
The former pub business of Scotish & Newcastle Breweries, now owned by Heineken. Run very much as tied houses (though former S&N subsidiary Theakston is always available alongside the Caledonian and John Smiths) with a limited choice of “outside” beers. Many have no cask ale.
Pub list
Stonegate Pub Company
Founded 2010, acquiring pubs from other pubcos. Now owns 500 pubs including branded (Yates, Scream, etc) and unbranded — seems to be tilting to the latter. Two pubs in this area, both with cask ale.
Pub list
TCG Acquisitions
A subsidiary of Alchemy, a private equity company. Formed in 2005 with a block of pubs from Spirit but has bought and sold a lot. Only one pub around here so far, with cask ales.
Pub list
Thwaites
Leapt into the position of the area's biggest pub-owner by taking over Yates & Jackson (a local brewer) in 1984. Nearly all of their pubs around here sell cask beer. Recently, pubs have improved choice, and more are of acceptable quality.Most of the beer now comes from Marstons (whatever the branding), a little from their own microbrewery and a very small amount from elsewhere.
Pub list
Trust Inns
Based in Chorley but with a national spread of pubs. Have picked up an odd rag-bag of ex-national brewers pubs, which remain an odd rag-bag.
Pub list
Weston Castle
A newish company buying a number of pubs from Mitchells and Thwaites. Committed to traditional pubs, where “traditional” includes karaoke and plasma screeens, but probably nothing to interest a discerning drinker.
Pub list
J D Wetherspoon
A familiar branded chain, mostly big pubs with low prices and a good range of beers - but quality varies considerably from place to place.
Pub list
Whitbread
Former brewer now leisure chain, retains a few pub-restaurants attached to hotels: no real ale.
Pub list