The Beer Bombshell and The Firebird

BABs & Arty

We’ve all seen the sci-fi films; a world threatening organism is eliminated by an explosive device that results in spreading the organism into many smaller but virile organisms, stronger than the parent. That’s sort of what happened to brewing in the West Sussex town of Horsham. Google ‘breweries’ in Horsham and you will find a plethora of small, craft brewers, most of whom owe their origins to the explosive effect of the King and Barnes brewery ‘financial bombing’ of 2000. King and Barnes was a family owned business of some 200 years standing that had attracted the hostile attention of Shepherd Neame. A ‘white knight’ in the form of Hall and Woodehouse, the Dorset brewers, made a counter bid which was accepted by the shareholders, much to the chagrin of the original King family members who were still running the business. The white knight did much the same as the…

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