Sixth generation family brewer, JW Lees, have announced the biggest shake up of their beer range in 190 years.

The company, who own over 140 pubs and hotels across the North West of England and North Wales will launch a completely rebranded core range in November and in the following months will introduce three new beers to strengthen the range. The recipes of popular cask ales such as JW Lees Bitter, Manchester Pale ale and Moonraker won’t change.

Plans for 2018 also include; the building of a microbrewery at their brewery site in Middleton, a new series of collaborations with Manchester brewers and a range of five seasonal ales celebrating pioneers who have helped shape Manchester and the North West.

William Lees -Jones, Managing Director, JW Lees, said; “We’re putting brewing at the heart of the business. We’ll continue to buck the trend that sees declining cask sales by doubling our efforts. The new branding will undoubtedly generate excitement from our customers but for longer lasting growth we need to keep invigorating the range. From small batch collaborations to a new craft lager, the emphasis is on giving customers what they want and inspiring them with beers that they wouldn’t necessarily expect from a traditional family brewer.

“We’re investing heavily in brewing, growing the team by recruiting a new Master brewer and building a ten-barrel brewery so we can be more experimental. These are exciting times and we believe that excitement will pass on to our customers.”

The core range branding sees the collection of beers designed as a family, breaking from the previous design route of individual, stand-alone brands. The core range of beers will grow with the addition of ‘Manchester Craft Lager’ in November, ‘Stout’ in January and ‘Gold’ in March. Another meaningful change is the renaming of John Willies premium bitter that will become Founders.

The limited edition seasonal cask ales, celebrating the inventors and pioneers who have shaped Manchester and the North West are:

January – Phantom

March – Arkwright

May – Bullseye

August – Boatmen

October – Railroad