Cheers! We’re back in business

From The Arran Banner by Jennifer Lyon June 20 2008

The Arran Brewery Company has been sold and is set to resume production as soon as possible

Marketing Management Services International Limited (MMSI) has bought the firm for an undisclosed sum.

The Scottish-based company, which specialises in turning around failing businesses, completed the deal at 6pm on Tuesday night.

MMSI managing director Gerald Michaluk told The Banner: ‘This is a great company with so much scope for expansion.

‘We have identified the key problems in the business, and they really could have happened to anyone. Marketing is our strong point and we will fix these problems and get the brewery up and running again.’

Immediate plans include bottling a large volume of ale that has been kept in refrigerated storage for the past month and Mr Michaluk hopes that they will be in a position to resume beer production within the next two weeks.

‘It is crucial that Arran beer is brought back into the supply train as soon as possible,’ he said. ‘These are exciting times for the Arran Brewery.’

According to Mr Michaluk, MMSI will be employing only three staff members to begin with: Elizabeth Roberts, Anne Purcell and Mike Lunney, but they hope to expand the workforce before long. It closed with the loss of 11 jobs.

MMSI chairman Professor Bill Donaldson, a sales management expert from Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, is intending to move to Arran to manage the running of the brewery.

He said: ‘This is just the kind of project MMSI excels at. I am looking forward to seeing the brand grow and develop and I feel that with such a good team on the island, the excellent quality of the product and the goodwill of all those that previously supported the brand we can make a real success here.’

Administrators were called in at the beginning of May and problems in the company were put down to cash flow caused by operational difficulties in getting the product to market in sufficient volumes.

The brewery, based at Cladach, has been running for eight years and is famous for its Arran Blonde, Arran Dark, Arran Sunset and Arran Ale.

The Catacol Bay Hotel in the Northend of the island sold its last pint of Arran Sunset on Monday night.

Owner Norman Bond said: ‘It’s great news that the brewery is back in business. I’m looking forward to having the beer back on tap, as it is one of our best sellers.’

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