WORLD-famous Barnsley business Acorn Brewery has been sold to a Manchester-based firm.

Launched in 2003, Acorn’s cask-ales quickly gained renown to see expansion to a 25-barrel brewery in Wombwell.

Today there is the capacity to produce 170 brewer-barrels a week with annual turnover of some £1m.

Now, directors Dave and Christy Hughes have decided that new ownership is needed to take the business forward.

The brewery has been sold to Sonas Capital - a Greater Manchester based company specialising in developing successful small businesses.

Over the years, Acorn has been much celebrated for its traditional Barnsley Bitter.

Most recently Barnsley Bitter took overall champion at the SIBA (Society of Independent Brewers) North Beer Competition.

Dave will continue in a consultancy role whilst Christy will take retirement due to recent ill-health.

Dave said: “We have enjoyed 20 successful years since launching in Barnsley with just my late first wife Judy and our current brewer Steve Bunting.

“In recent years, with Christy heading marketing and sales, we have continued to drive the brewery forward, despite being badly hit by the Covid pandemic.

“Throughout lockdowns we continually brewed, pouring the beer away, to regularly refresh our unique original Barnsley Brewery yeast strain from the 1800s, so we recovered quickly.

“Now we feel we have taken the business as far as we can and we are handing it on in very good shape to Sonas.

“We wish to thank the team for their loyal support across the years.

“I look forward to continuing to work with them in my consultancy role.

“We must also thank our valued suppliers, loyal trade customers and, of course, our ever-faithful fans for their ongoing support for our beers.

“This is a very exciting time for Acorn and we would like to reassure those suppliers, licensees and beer fans that the brewery is going into good hands.

“We are confident that Sonas will continue to reflect our passion with the energy and impetus to take the business forward, maintaining our highest standards of products and service under our banner of tradition and innovation.”