Marston’s snapped up the Thwaites’ main beer business in a £25.1 million deal today, adding it to a portfolio that includes Ringwood in Hampshire, Wychwood in Oxfordshire, Jennings in Cumbria and Banks’s in the West Midlands.
Tom Stainer, Camra’s head of communications, said: “The Campaign for Real Ale believes that consumer choice is always reduced when breweries are acquired by larger operators and we're very concerned about the takeover of Thwaites, a long-established and respected regional family brewer, by Marston’s.
“While Marston’s has a relatively good history of respecting brewing heritage when it has previously taken over other breweries, such as Wychwood and Jennings, Camra will be paying close attention to its plans for the Thwaites brands it has just acquired.
“We’d urge Marston's to retain a brewing operation in, or near Blackburn, to preserve the regional brewing history and Thwaites name and just as importantly, the jobs which the brewery currently provides in this area.
“We’d also urge Marston's to ensure that the individual nature and taste of Thwaites’ brands are not diluted and lost as a result of this acquisition.”