Category Archives: North Wales

Apprentices Look To The Future At Successful North West Family-Owned Brewers

Four talented young trainees at Salford-based brewer and pub retailer Hydes are toasting success after completing apprenticeships and landing permanent positions.

The quartet of apprentices including Ryan Littler, James Stevenson, William King and Jack Brickles have all recently completed their in-house apprenticeships with the family-owned independent brewery.

Ryan Littler is Hydes youngest deputy manager and works at The Golden Lion in Wrexham having achieved Hospitality Supervisor Level 3. He is joined by James Stevenson, duty manager at The Golden Lion who also studied Hospitality Supervisor Level 3. William King is commis chef at Hornsmill in Chester having achieved Production Chef Level 2 and Jack Brickles, is duty manager at The Horse and Farrier in Gatley who completed Hospitality Team Member Level. All completed their apprenticeship training this year.

The family-owned independent brewery, which celebrated its 160th-anniversary last year, first introduced its apprenticeship programme in 2017 and has numerous programmes across different areas of the brewery business and its pub estate. Hydes is currently seeking more apprentices to join the successful programme, which offers candidates the opportunity to earn an above apprentice-level wage whilst gaining valuable on the job training.

Since 2017, around 50 apprentices have progressed through the scheme, with many having developed into management roles since then.

Run in conjunction with external training providers, Hydes apprenticeships usually take between 12-24 months to complete. Learning is done on the job but employees have the support of a personal tutor monitoring them at regular intervals. Every apprenticeship has an ‘end point assessment’ which needs completing and submitting over a three-month period.

Laura Miller, training manager at Hydes, comments: “Apprenticeships are a great way for us to attract people to come and work with us. Employees get to learn new skills and we get to build a skilled, motivated workforce. We mainly focus on hospitality and catering apprenticeships but we’ve also offered apprenticeships for our Head Office and brewery teams and had two candidates already complete the Brewing Level 4 qualification with one apprentice just coming up to the end point assessment. We also currently have a Health & Safety apprentice nearing successful completion.

“Apprenticeships are very important to Hydes as a business as they play an important part in development and help employees progress their career with us. It’s also a brilliant way to grow talent from within. By offering competitive rates of pay and great career development prospects coupled with high levels of satisfaction and staff retention, we’re always on the lookout to attract    aspirational people into the business and help them create a promising future with an employer that values every single team member.”

Notable apprentice successes include Brandon Hodkinson at premium dining site, The Coach and Four in Wilmslow who now holds a Senior Sous Chef position. Tom Rostron, who was part of the Trailblazer group, the first group ever to go through the brand new Brewing Level 4 apprenticeship scheme and he is now Hydes’ Brewing Manager based at the brewery in Salford. Former apprentice Tom Allkins also works as a brewer after achieving the Brewing level 4 qualification last year. Tom is also a member of the Hydes family, his grandfather and uncle were brewers with Hydes too.

Newly qualified Ryan Littler at the Golden Lion in Wrexham, recently promoted to deputy manager, said: “I haven’t looked back since completing my apprenticeship with Hydes. I really enjoyed earning whilst I learned on the job, gaining valuable insight from my experienced colleagues. Hydes were very supportive of me throughout the entire programme and I was always made to feel like a valued team member.

“There’s also great opportunities for progression with Hydes and I was delighted to be promoted to deputy manager recently, proving that commitment is duly recognised. An apprenticeship is a great, positive way to carve out a career and I’ll be supporting future apprentices with Hydes as my career develops further.”

Hydes, with its brewery in Media City, was formed in 1863 and supplies beers to wholesalers, pub companies and other brewers throughout the UK and a pub retailing estate of nearly 50 pubs across the North West of England and North Wales.

For more information about Hydes apprenticeship programme, please contact:

Palé Hall owners add pub to their estate with a pledge to local customers

The owners of one of Wales’ leading luxury country house hotels have added a neighbouring country pub to their estate, assuring existing customers that it will remain their ‘local’.


Anthony and Donna Cooper-Barney, from Palé Hall, at Llandderfel, near Bala in April, have now purchased The Bryntirion Inn, which is situated at the bottom of the hotel’s drive. The pub is now closed for refurbishment until late August.


Recruited to run the pub is Dan Tustain who discovered by chance that he’s following in the footsteps of his grandfather, John, who was also landlord of The Bryntirion Inn more than 50 years ago.


Dan, 49, who has cousins still living in the Dee Valley, has opted for a complete career change, having spent the past two-and-a-half years as a front line Metropolitan Police officer in London.


Prior that, he worked as a manager for Pret a Manger in West London and Selfridges food hall and at gastro pubs in Worcestershire, his home county.


“It was only after I had been given the job at The Bryntirion Inn that I discovered that my grandfather, John Tustain, was landlord there for a number of years,” explained Dan. “Of all the places to work on the planet, I discover there is family history!


“It’s an exciting new chapter in my life, as I have also been helping Tony and Donna with another local investment project. It’s like being on a very fast and exciting rollercoaster because they are moving at high speed in a positive direction.”


Dan assured regular customers that The Bryntirion Inn will be updated sympathetically to retain its “local” appeal whilst also appealing to diners in the 70-cover restaurant.


“It’s a beautiful, old, Welsh pub that hasn’t had any investment for around 30 years which means that it’s dated,” he explained. “It’s successful with a good, local trade but we need to up the game and bring it into the 21st century to realise its full potential.


“I have heard of local concern that we are going to decorate it all grey and make it into pseudo gastro pub which is not the case. It will remain a local, Welsh pub with competitive prices so that locals don’t feel they are being priced out.


“We are putting in a new kitchen and upgrading the menu to provide an even better experience for customers.”


Having fallen in love with Palé Hall, Mr and Mrs Cooper-Barney are planning to invest in other local ventures to support the community and enhance Bala as a tourist destination.

New Landlady Aims To Make Black Lion A Roaring Success In Wrexham

A leading brewery and pub retailer with establishments across North Wales and Cheshire has appointed an experienced new landlady to run one of its establishments at Bersham, Wrexham.

New tenant Lucy Gregson will run The Black Lion Inn for Salford-based pub retailer and brewery, Hydes. The pub has been in Hydes tenanted estate for more than 12 years.

A friendly and familiar face to regulars and passing customers, Lucy has worked behind the bar of The Black Lion for over three years and has more than seven years of pub hospitality experience.

Hydes refurbished The Black Lion Inn earlier this year, with a complete interior redecoration including a new sports room with pool table. The exterior of the pub also received a complete makeover with a redesign and new garden furniture in place in time for the busy spring and summer seasons.

Lucy, commented: “I know Bersham and the surrounding areas very well so the chance to run The Black Lion is a major opportunity for me. Having been behind the bar here for a few years already, I’ve got a good understanding of what works well and I have lots of new, fresh ideas that I’m starting to implement, with the full support of Hydes who have been great and backed me all the way. I’ve already enjoyed a number of professional courses that Hydes offer which has been great for building my confidence and boosting my hospitality and bar trade knowledge.

“The location of the pub means we get lots of passing customers with walkers and tourists, so I’m looking forward to providing an equally warm welcome to regular and non-regular guests. This, coupled with the recent investment from Hydes in the pub refurbishment, will ensure our customers experience an enjoyable and memorable visit.

The new look inside and outside of the pub has given The Black Lion a new lease of life making it the ideal destination for a quality pint and I’m determined to build on this momentum.”

In addition to quizzes and a lively entertainment programme, Lucy is planning on making the most of the appealing outdoor facilities as summer approaches with live music events featuring local bands plus barbecues and charity fundraisers.

A current ongoing fundraiser being staged by the pub is in support of bar team member Melissa Tincello who is climbing Morocco’s highest peak, Mount Toubkal, in aid of homeless charity, Crisis. The fundraising target is £4,000.

Hydes operates nearly 50 pubs ranging from Lancaster in the North to Stoke-on Trent in the Midlands and across to North Wales, including a wide selection of premium dining destination outlets and traditional community pubs.

Managing director of Hydes Brewery, Adam Mayers, said: “Lucy is passionate and hard-working and has got off to a flying start at The Black Lion following several years of dedication behind the bar. Her step up to running the pub was a very natural progression, with her experience and commitment standing her in great stead. Lucy possesses all the key customer service attributes that Hydes looks for in our tenanted establishments. Her existing knowledge of the pub and customers old and new, combined with an eagerness to learn new operational skills will undoubtedly help The Black Lion to go from strength to strength.”

Hydes, with its brewery in Media City, Salford, was formed in 1863 and supplies beers to wholesalers, pub companies and other brewers throughout the UK and a pub retailing estate of nearly 50 pubs across North Wales and the North West of England.

North Wales Housing Association Invests £1million To Create 40 New Jobs Following Significant Business Growth

Leading North Wales housing association, ClwydAlyn, has experienced significant business growth and has committed to investing over £1million to recruit 40 new job roles which will include vacancies in the housing, finance, maintenance, IT, and procurement teams, as well as Pathway positions which will be new trainee opportunities to help people in the community with limited work experience, such as school and college leavers to kickstart their careers.

As part of ClwydAlyn’s commitment to investing in the growth and development of a diverse range of talent, the paid Pathway roles will build skills and experience in a working environment with tailored progression plans.

Clwyd Alyn St Asaph HQ . Picture Mandy Jones

The number of homes currently managed by ClwydAlyn sits at 6,300 across Denbighshire, Flintshire, Gwynedd, Conwy, Wrexham, Powys and Isle of Anglesey, and there are plans for a further 1,000 new homes to be built over the next three years. To ensure a consistently high level of service for residents and support for staff members continues, the organisation has identified the need to strengthen its workforce significantly.

The new recruits will work with the existing teams to help build more affordable housing across North Wales, while expanding the service offer in support of its core mission to end poverty. Once the 40 new roles are successfully filled, the workforce headcount will increase to a total of 810.

Clare Budden, Group CEO at ClwydAlyn Housing Association said:

“As we continue to grow and expand our services to meet the needs of our communities, we know that it’s only through investing in our teams that we can continue to deliver the highest standard of support and care to our customers.

“This recruitment campaign is a fantastic opportunity for individuals to join us in our mission to beat poverty and make a real difference in North Wales.

“We’re looking for passionate and dedicated individuals who share our values of trust, kindness, and hope and who ultimately want to create a positive, lasting impact on communities.”

For the full list of vacancies, job descriptions, and application process, please visit

Moneypenny Acquires Sunshine Communications Services to Further Strengthen It’s Position in the US Market

Moneypenny, a leading innovator in outsourced communication services has further extended its services in the US with the acquisition of Sunshine Communication Services.

Sunshine is an award-winning provider of bilingual (English and Spanish) call management solutions to businesses of all sizes ensuring they run smoothly 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Based in Florida and founded in 1975 by the Gross family, the company is dedicated to representing clients’ business in providing customised services across a variety of industries.

The Moneypenny Group is a market leader, with its US HQ in Atlanta. The company employs over 1,000 people globally and delivers virtual receptionist and phone answering services, Live Chat, switchboard, fully outsourced customer service teams and a host of AI and technology-enabled services handling over 20 million calls and chats annually for thousands of businesses, from sole traders to multi-national corporations.

The company has ambitious growth plans, and this acquisition will take the US business to almost a third of the Moneypenny Group turnover. Demand for its services is growing at a significant rate as businesses continue to look at ways to improve how they interact with their customers, by blending technology solutions with highly skilled personal assistants to maximize operational efficiencies.


Joanna Swash, Group CEO commented, “We are delighted to welcome Sunshine Communication Services to The Moneypenny Group. This is our fourth acquisition in the US following Alphapage in 2022. Sunshine Communication Services is a successful brand and its acquisition will further complement the services we can offer to our clients in the US. Our aim is to be the number one provider in the US for outsourced communications, supporting businesses of all sizes to deliver a great customer experience with every interaction, regardless of channel.”


Brothers, Andrew Gross and Peter Gross from Sunshine Communication Services added, “We are excited about the opportunities this next phase presents for our business, and more importantly, for our team and customers. From the moment we met Moneypenny, it was clear our companies have a great fit, not just with our products and services, but also more importantly, with our strong culture and ethos. Looking after our people and putting the needs of the customer front and center are at the core of both of our companies.”

Moneypenny CEO Honoured with OBE for Services to the Economy

Joanna Swash, Group CEO of Moneypenny was recently appointed an OBE in the King’s Honours List for her services to the economy. The award recognises her contribution to Moneypenny’s international growth, the strong culture originally created by the founders, the brilliant work by the management team and the jobs created in Wrexham, London and the US.  It also recognises her commitment to the local community in Chairing the City of Culture bids for Wrexham and uniting the collective goodwill of cross party politicians, local authorities and so many local business leaders to drive the Investment Zone for Wrexham and Flintshire.

Moneypenny supports businesses of all shapes and sizes across the UK and US with call answering, live chat and bespoke and proactive customer communication services. The company which employs over 1,000 people has been listed in the ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ seven times and recognised as a Great Place To Work (GPTW).

Joanna Swash comments: “I am honoured and humbled to have received an OBE in the King’s Honours list for my contribution to the local economy. It is a privilege to have been part of the strong growth story at Moneypenny and I am passionate about inspiring the next generation of business leaders. I am extremely grateful to have been able to make a positive contribution locally both by Chairing the City of Culture bids for Wrexham and helping to drive the Investment Zone for Wrexham and Flintshire, illustrating the impact of collaborative efforts.”



Hydes Brewery To Invest Millions In Its Pub Estate Throughout The Year

Salford-based brewer and pub retailer Hydes has committed to a multi-million, seven-figure investment programme across its pub estate throughout the remainder of 2024.

The family-owned independent business, which marked its 160th anniversary last year, will begin the investment programme with a refurbishment of its award-winning pub and boutique hotel, The Abel Heywood, based in Manchester’s vibrant Northern Quarter.

Acquired by Hydes in 2015, The Abel Heywood will close on 25th February for a full interior refurbishment including new booth seating, modernisation of existing Victorian-style decor, new external signage, lighting and a revitalisation of the bar areas.

Hydes is committing £200k investment to the project and will re-open the characterful pub to customers on 9th March. The on-site boutique hotel, which is popular with visitors to Manchester, has a 99% occupancy rate and will remain open throughout the renovations.

The investment forms part of a wider multi-million-pound programme planned for other key sites in Hydes’ portfolio including significant investments at The Boat House at Parkgate on the Wirral, The Nursery Inn at Heaton Norris, Stockport and The Mount Inn at Chester. The investment total will run into seven figures for the year including smaller-scale refurbishments at a number of additional Hydes pubs.

Last year Hydes committed over £4 million worth of investment in its estate. The Jolly Thresher in Lymm and The John Millington in Cheadle Hulme both underwent extensive refurbishments. Further investments were made at various other sites including The Sam Brooks in Sale, The Golden Lion in Rossett and Alfreds in Macclesfield.

In October 2022, Hydes completed its first freehold acquisition since 2015, purchasing the former police station in Heswall. Named after the architect of the original building, The Harry Beswick, cost over £3.6m and opened its doors as Hydes’ newest premium pub and dining venue in November 2023.

Adam Mayers, managing director of Hydes commented: “The Abel Heywood is a key venue and kicks off a series of investments that will see us continuing to commit to the ongoing refurbishments of all pubs in our estate. This follows significant investment programmes for the previous two years, resulting in the revitalisation of multiple sites. The Abel Heywood, with its adjoined 15 room boutique hotel, is a firm favourite in the city’s Northern Quarter and this investment will enable it to build on the success and reputation it has established since we first acquired it nearly a decade ago.

“Starting with The Abel Heywood, our ongoing investment in the estate not only highlights the commitment to delivering exceptional customer experience, products and services but also underpins the integral role in the communities it serves. Investment in our pubs and our people is top priority at Hydes and this will continue throughout the coming year, strengthening our offering and enhancing the overall experience for all our customers and guests.”

Hydes operates nearly 50 pubs ranging from Lancaster in the North to Stoke-on Trent in the Midlands and across to North Wales including a wide selection of premium dining destination outlets and traditional community pubs.

Pictured: The Abel Heywood pub and boutique hotel, Manchester

Hydes introduce new beer ranges for 2024

North west based brewer Hydes has unveiled its new product range for 2024.

The 18-strong range includes six ‘Vintage’ cask ales as part of its bi-monthly offering and 12 seasonal ales.

The Vintage range comprises historic bottled brews recreated from the original Hydes Anvil range from the late 1800s and early to mid-1900s. The range sees the return of Anvil Brand Brown Stout (4.1% ABV), Anvil Brand Pale Ale (4.0% ABV), Anvil Brand Light Ale (3.9% ABV), Anvil Best (4.8%), Oatmeal Stout (4.5% ABV) and Nut Brown Ale (3.8% ABV).

Previously all part of a bottled range dating back between 1895 to 1941 this is the first time the range has been re-introduced on cask. Hydes has also recreated the original bottle designs featuring the Hydes Queens Brewery branding to feature on the bar pump clips and beer mats.

The seasonal range includes a range of 12 ales themed around classic British TV shows including Bulls Eye, Dad’s Army, Monty Python’s Flying Circus, Phoenix Nights, Fawlty Towers and Only Fools and Horses.

The first themed ales to be introduced are Bulls Hydes, a 4.2% ABV premium bitter, available throughout January and Flying Circus, a 4.5% ABV dark ale, for February.


Hydes managing director, Adam Mayers said: “We’re very proud to introduce our 2024 range which combines our rich brewing heritage in the North West through our Vintage range with an innovative, contemporary range of a dozen ales playfully themed around British TV classics.

“The reintroduction for the first time of some of Hydes’ bottled beers from the early days of the brewery’s origins up to and including the war years is an exciting addition to the existing core range and we can’t wait for drinkers to sample these brews, all based on the original recipes, for the first time in over 100 years in some cases. Anvil Best was first introduced as a bottled bitter in 1924 so it’s great to see it make a historic return exactly a century later for today’s drinkers to enjoy fresh from the cask.”


Hydes, with its brewery in Media City, Salford, was formed in 1863 and supplies beers to wholesalers, pub companies and other brewers throughout the UK and a pub retailing estate of over 40 pubs across the North West of England and North Wales.

To find out more about Hydes Brewery visit

Aber Falls Distillery releases Rye Distillery Exclusive whisky

Aber Falls Distillery in Abergwyngregyn has today released a brand new ‘Rye Distillery Exclusive’ Welsh Whisky, with just 579 bottles being made available from its Visitor Centre.

With a combination of 51% malted rye and 49% Welsh malted barley, this Rye Whisky has been matured in a Virgin Oak cask for just over 3 years. This whisky is natural in colour & non-chill filtered – produces notes of Christmas cake candied fruits, marzipan, chocolate, and vanilla, whilst the palate delivers a taste of rye bread with hints of apple and malt, with a long-lasting, with a long delicately spiced finish reminiscent of spiced, ginger biscuits.

Jill Boyd, Master Blender at Aber Falls, said: “One of the great advantages of being a Welsh distillery is our ability to be able to experiment with different wood types and barrels. In turn, we can create unique whiskies and our rye release is a great example of this.”

Aber Falls Single Malt whiskies are distilled, matured, and bottled in North Wales, between the foothills of the Carneddau mountains in Eryri and the Menai straits. They are crafted using 100% Welsh malted barley and rock-filtered water taken from the Aber Falls Waterfall and are crafted by a team of local people. This very special whisky release is a combination of Welsh malt, and Rye creating a truly exceptional limited whisky release.

The Aber Falls ‘Rye Distillery Exclusive’ Whisky is bottled at 52% ABV and available to purchase from the distillery’s shop at an RRP of £85.

Popular Wrexham Pub Reopens it’s Doors Following Extensive Refurbishment

Hydes Brewery has reopened The Stanton House in Chirk, Wrexham, following a complete interior refurbishment.

The transformation of the popular village pub, part of the Hydes tenanted estate, includes a complete interior redecoration with new furniture throughout and a newly configured bar areas, together with a full refresh of the exterior. 

The refurb, is sympathetic to Stanton House’s existing features, retaining all the character which has made it a popular destination pub with drinkers and a main focus of community activity in Chirk.   

This latest refurbishment forms part of an ongoing multi-million pound investment programme in the Hydes estate over the next few years. Throughout 2022 Hydes committed over £4.5m to refurbishments of pubs across its estate and it intends to increase that investment substantially throughout 2023.

Mark and Chelly Jones, who have over 20 years of successful tenancy experience with Hydes and have managed Stanton House since 2001, have established it as a real community hub for the people of Chirk and surrounding areas and are thrilled that Hydes has invested in the pub.

Popular with locals and visitors to Chirk, The Stanton House is located within a designated conservation area and in walking distance of the Castle and the narrow boat basin. A broad selection of beers and other popular drinks are complemented by an enticing homemade food range which is served throughout the week.

Managing director of Hydes Brewery, Adam Mayers said: “It’s great to see The Stanton House reopen again with a refreshed look and feel, just in time for the busy summer holiday season. Mark and Chelly are one of our longest-standing tenants at Hydes and are committed to providing a first class customer experience. Together we make a great team and look forward to seeing what the future brings.

“We’re happy to support our tenanted pubs and a complete refurb represents a positive investment that will help them to drive the business. As a very popular pub that plays an important role in the local community, we’re confident that customers old and new are going to enjoy this newly refurbished venue.

“Hydes is fully committed to all of the pubs across its estate and this latest round of investment is part of an ongoing programme of multiple redesigns and refurbishments. Providing our customers with a first-class experience is a key priority at our pubs such as The Stanton House.”

Hydes, with its brewery in Media City, Salford, was formed in 1863 and supplies beers to wholesalers, pub companies and other brewers throughout the UK and a pub retailing estate of nearly 50 pubs across the North West of England and North Wales.

To find out more about Hydes Brewery visit