South Yorkshire brewery’s beer barrel appeal

Dave Hughes, of Acorn Brewery.
Dave Hughes, of Acorn Brewery.

A brewery is appealing for pubs from across Doncaster, the Dearne Valley and Isle of Axholme to come forward and donate any unwanted and forgotten beer barrels.

Wombwell-based Acorn Brewery has asked 400 pubs and bars across the region to have a look in the back of their cellars and yards - and return any stray casks they find to the brewery to put back into circulation.

Brewery owner Dave Hughes said: “Every week we produce and send out about 100 barrels of real ale. A lot of that beer is delivered via wholesalers to hundreds of pubs and bars across the UK, but we also deliver direct to more than 400 customers in the North and East Midlands.

“It’s these customers we’ve asked to have a look in their back rooms, to see if they can find any stray empty casks and give them to our van drivers on their next visit.

“Pubs are very busy places and ours is certainly a high-turnover product. We expect some loss of barrels of course, but we have an excellent relationship with our customers so thought we’d ask them to help us put some misplaced casks back into action. We aim to be as green and sustainable a business as possible and don’t like to think of them sitting there not being put to good use carrying our beer.”

He added they have sent out around 2,000 casks over the last 12 years and reckon about 1,600 are in circulation today. Casks cost about £60 each and are re-usable. When they come back to the brewery, they are washed, sterilised and refilled with ale to return to the pubs with a shelf-life of four to five weeks. The expanding brewery now routinely brews 30,000 pints of ale a week.