Tears for Beers: Sadness as Jennings Brewery Cockermouth to close as production moves to Burton

ITV Border
The brewery is set to close next month, however logistical operations will continue for the foreseeable future until other options for the site are found. Credit: ITV Border

Locals have been reacting with sadness after it was revealed that a historic Cumbria brewery will close after nearly 200 years.

Jennings Brewery in Cockermouth is set to end production early next month.

According to Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company (CMBC), the decision is due to a decline in volumes over the last few years, which was exacerbated by the pandemic.

Talking of his feelings following the announcement, Jonty Chippendale from the Cockermouth Chamber of Commerce said: "Sadness really, sadness for the people that work here because there's a lot of livelihoods that are gonna be lost.

"I'm sad for the town, it's 200 years of history that's going to stop.

"There was a certain inevitability to it once it had left local ownership and now it's just an outlier to a big national international company and accountants make decisions based on numbers not sentiment."

Despite the closure, the production of Jennings Cumberland Cask ales will be moved to Marston's Brewery in Burton.

CMBC has told ITV Border that there are currently only five jobs in the brewery and that a consultation process will take place by early October.

Re-deployment opportunities will be explored, but redundancies are likely.

Until new options for the site are found, logistic operations at the Cockermouth site are expected to continue as normal.

CMBC said the brewery will continue to remain a "key local employer" for the foreseeable future, but that the site could eventually be sold off.

The company said it will support colleagues through the uncertain period.

People in Cockermouth said the brewery "should stay in Cockermouth" and that it was "really sad for the community".

Paul Davies, CEO, Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company, said: "We understand the great affection the local community has for the brewery, and its place as part of the UK’s brewing heritage.

"Over the course of the past year, we have carefully considered all options for the brewery and have reached the extremely difficult decision to close the brewery."

Mr Davies continued: "We understand this news will be very difficult for our team at Jennings and disappointing to many other colleagues, consumers and customers.

"But with the economic headwinds impacting our industry we must continue to make the difficult choices we believe are needed to ensure CMBC is well placed to navigate the unprecedented external challenges we are facing, and ensure we are able to grow and sustain our position as a leading business in the brewing industry.”