Phipps Northampton Brewery takes over award-winning, Woodford Halse-based Gun Dog Ales

"We will be following a tight regime in the shape of handing over the recipes and making sure that the beer comes first"

By Jack Duggan
Tuesday, 16th June 2020, 3:39 pm
Updated Tuesday, 16th June 2020, 3:46 pm

Phipps Northampton Brewery Company has taken over Woodford Halse-based brewery Gun Dog Ales to help each other in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Kingswell Street brewery will be responsible for the production, selling and delivery of Gun Dog's award-winning range of beers, starting with Jack Spaniels on Monday (June 22).

Managing director Alaric Neville said: "We look forward to working with brewer James Pickering in transferring his brewing to Northampton where we will aim to maintain the characteristic Gun Dog beers."

Sign up to our daily Daventry Express Today newsletter

Gun Dog Ales founder James Pickering and Phipps Northampton Brewery Company managing directorAlaric Neville celebrate the two firms merging

Mr Neville said Phipps and Gun Dog have been in discussions for some time about combining their operations as a strategic response to the huge over-provision of capacity in the independent brewing trade.

The Covid-19 crisis is expected to change the way breweries run and how much they produce with pubs also being affected, making the merger even more pertinent.

"Bringing Gun Dog brews into the Phipps Albion Brewery makes great economic sense as the two brands produce distinctly different styles of beer and are strongest in slightly different geographical area," he said.

"Phipps is seen most often in Northants and Bedfordshire where as Gun Dog has a number of regular outlets to the west in Warwicks, Bucks and Oxfordshire."

In an email to subscribers, Mr Pickering said he and his family have loved every second of growing Gun Dog from nothing in Woodford Halse - but it has now outgrown them.

"We will be following a tight regime in the shape of handing over the recipes and making sure that the beer comes first," he said.

"It’s an amazing opportunity for us to allow the brand to continue it’s healthy growth and have access to the capacity it was demanding at the Albion Brewery."