McMullen's Brewery

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Industry Alcoholic beverage
Founded 1827
Headquarters Hertford, United Kingdom
Products Beer

McMullen's is a regional brewery founded in 1827 in Hertford, England.


McMullen's was founded in 1827 in Railway Street, Hertford. As the business grew larger it moved first to Mill Bridge in 1832 and then to Old Cross in 1891. A modern brewhouse was built in 1984. In 2002, the business was valued at £176m. In the mid-2000s the company had a narrow escape from closure as the controlling family split between those shareholders who wanted to receive a reasonable dividend and those who wanted to reinvest annual profits into the company and keep dividends very low. David McMullen stepped down as Chairman following an unsuccessful attempted management buyout. A new independent Chairman, Charles Brims, produced a compromise whereby several non-brewing property investments were sold to release cash to appease the majority shareholders and a plan was launched to build a brand new, smaller brewhouse. The company decided to shed contract-brewing and take advantage of tax breaks by becoming a smaller brewer. As the new 'Whole Hop Brewery' (opened 2006) was much more compact than the 1984-built site the spare land was sold to Sainsbury's.

Brief details[edit]

McMullen's brews cask ale and pasteurised bottled beers. The company owns over 130 freehold pubs mainly operating in the Home Counties and with a number of pubs in London including The Spice of Life Cambridge Circus and The Nag's Head in Covent Garden. McMullen's is acquisitive and has recently purchased pubs and bars in Cambridge, Chelmsford, Sevenoaks, Fleet, Marlow, Milton Keynes and Bishops Stortford. The company has no debt.


McMullen's produces three regular cask ales and several occasional ales. Its AK XXX, first brewed in the 19th century, is the only beer of its type to survive in the UK.[1] The regular range consists of:

  • Original AK, 3.7% abv
  • McMullen's Cask ale, a new, hoppy ale launched 2006, 3.8% abv
  • Country, 4.3%

McMullen's brews a guest beer every month which is available for a limited period. These can include its IPA, Tooty Fruity, McDuff, and Harvest Moon. The beers are advertised with the tagline 'From the whole hop brewery'.

Bottled Ales[edit]

  • Stronghart
  • Hertford Castle
  • Country Bitter

Guest beers[edit]

  • Love Herts (2014–present)[2]
  • IPA
  • Bard of Ale (2013–present)
  • Flying Frog (2014)

Out of production[edit]

  • Screaming Reels (2011–13)
  • Stag Bitter (2008)[3]
  • Harvest Moon (2006-2008)
  • Victory 1805 (2005)
  • Olde Time Strong Ale
  • Special Reserve Anniversary Porter (2000)
  • Oatmeal Ale (1997-2001)
  • Gladstone (1990s)
  • Crafter Low Alcohol Bitter (1970s)
  • Mac's Brown (1960s)
  • Nut Brown Ale
  • Oat Brown Stout (1950s)
  • No. 1 Pale Ale



External links[edit]