Cheers! Joule's Brewery to open more North Staffordshire pubs
A BEER first brewed by Staffordshire monks 900 years ago will become more widely available thanks to a £1 million bank loan.
Joule's Brewery has received a financial package from the Co-operative Bank which will allow it to open more pubs in the region.
The brewery produced its famous pale ale in Stone for two centuries, continuing a tradition started by Augustinian monks in the 1100s.
In 1974 it appeared the Joule's story had come to an end when the brewery was demolished after a takeover.
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But Joule's was resurrected in Market Drayton in 2010, and now runs 17 pubs in Staffordshire, Shropshire, Cheshire and Wales.
Managing director Steve Nuttall said the company would now be looking for new sites in the area.
He said: "Joule's strong traditional values are key to our success. Our public houses are old-style English pubs like those which have served communities for centuries.
"While many pub chains have been hit hard by the downturn, Joule's bucks the trend and shows how we are giving the public what they want.
"It's all about the simple things in life – really good beer, good food and uncomplicated interiors in lovely historical buildings. We welcome the continuing support provided by The Co-operative Bank."
Joule's produces its pale ale according to the original company's brewing notes and methods, using spring water from the site of an original Joule's house. It has now created two new beers: Joule's Blonde and Slumbering Monk.
Joule's was recently awarded the National Pub Design Award by the Campaign for Real Ale and English Heritage for its Red Lion Tap House in Market Drayton.
Mike Harker, chairman of Staffordshire Camra, said Joule's success proved there was still life in the pub trade.
He said: "This is excellent news. Joule's has brought good old pubs back to life, providing good food, and obviously their choice of beers is always excellent. It was a very sad day when the original Joule's brewery closed in Stone. I think people carried a coffin through the town."
Stoke publican Jason Keenan has run The Glebe since Joule's re-opened it in 2010.
He said: "The emphasis is very much on quality. They focus on artisan beers and refurbish their pubs to a very high standard.
"As they're still opening pubs at a time when many are closing down, they must be doing something right."
Daran Harding, business development manager, at The Co-operative Bank, said: "We're delighted to be providing further support to Joule's Brewery, which continues to go from strength to strength.
"This is another illustration of our approach to developing strong long-term relationships with customers that are dedicated to supporting their future success."