Moorhouse's Brewery

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Industry Alcoholic beverage
Founded 1865
Founder William Moorhouse
Headquarters Burnley, Lancashire, UK
Products Beer

Moorhouse's is an independent brewery founded in 1865 by William Moorhouse in Burnley in Lancashire, UK as a producer of mineral waters and low alcohol beers known as hop bitters. It first produced cask ales in 1978.


The brewery produces cask ale and filtered beer in bottles.


The business was founded in 1865 by William Moorhouse as a producer of mineral waters. The business was successful and by 1870 Moorhouse had a purpose built building erected in Moorhouse Street off Accrington Road, Burnley which incorporated stables for the delivery horses and houses for the workers and Moorhouse family. William's sons took over the business and early in the 20th century began making low alcohol hop bitters which were exported throughout the world, notably United States and the Middle East.[1]

In the 1930s the mineral water production was sold to Thwaites Brewery.

In 1978 Michael Ryan, a local builder, bought the premises and equipment from Tom Fawcett, the cousin of the last surviving Moorhouse family member, Ben Moorhouse (Ben has a son -Robert - who, in turn, has a son - William Moorhouse - born in 2011). Ryan turned the soft drinks company into a cask ale brewery. The first cask ale produced was Premier Bitter.

The brewery struggled during its first four years, changing owners several times before being taken over in 1982 by Alan Hutchinson, a local hotel owner, who introduced the successful Pendle Witches Brew brand. After Hutchinson died in 1985 the brewing side of the business was about to be closed down when William Parkinson, a businessman who was born in Burnley, tried the last batch of Pendle Witches Brew and decided to buy the brewery, investing £500,000 in new equipment, a distribution depot, and buying six pubs.



The company produces five regular cask ales:

  • Black Cat Mild
  • Blond Witch Golden Ale
  • Pendle Witches Brew Strong Ale
  • Premier Bitter
  • Pride of Pendle Best Bitter

There are also 5 special blends produced:

  • Broomstick Bitter
  • Blackwitch
  • Witches Cauldron
  • Witchfinder General
  • Witch Hunt

Additionally, there is a special beer brewed per month.


The cask ales are available in the company's six pubs, as guests in pubs throughout Britain and at British beer festivals. The two bottled beers are distributed throughout Britain and North America. The British supermarket Morrisons regularly stocks the bottled beers. Pendle Witches Brew is also brewed under licence in Cyprus.


  1. ^ "Moorhouses". Retrieved 2010-04-11. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 53°47′11″N 2°16′11″W / 53.7864°N 2.2696°W / 53.7864; -2.2696