Sentinel story: Stoke-on-Trent based Titanic set to open 22 pubs with ambitious new plans

BREWERY bosses have unveiled ambitious plans to open more than 20 new pubs in the next six years.

Potteries-based Titanic Brewery is set to open its ninth pub, Ye Olde Kings Arms, Congleton, in November.

But managing director Keith Bott has also unveiled plans to expand Titanic’s estate to 30 pubs, concentrating the expansion in Staffordshire, South Cheshire and Derbyshire.

Titanic, which was founded in 1985, had just one pub until 2007. The company has since expanded from its Burslem base to open pubs in Stafford, Stone, Leek and Buxton, in addition to the historic Ye Olde Kings Arms – the brewery’s first pub in Cheshire.

Titanic’s expansion has so far created around 120 jobs, with more to come in the proposed 22 additional pubs which includes Ye Olde Kings Arms.

The plans were announced as Titanic unveiled new a hospitality area at its Burslem brewery.

A £300,000 investment has led to the creation of the Titanic Sample Room at the premises.

New offices and a shop also feature in the upgraded facilities at the brewery in Callender Place.

Forty-seven-year-old Mr Bott said: “We run eight pubs currently and the plan is to have 30.

“We are committed to opening community pubs which appeal to a wide age range and are part of the fabric of their local area.

“A good pub is at the heart of the community and we are extremely proud to say that every pub we have opened so far has formerly been closed down. A good pub is an integral part of our culture and it is very satisfying to play a part in the revival of the great British pub.”

The brewery has expanded from producing just seven barrels a week in the early days, to its current output of more than 2.5 million pints of its award winning beer every year.

But the brewery was lacking a place for visitors, which has now been addressed by the expansion at Burslem.

Mr Bott, of Stafford added: “This sample room has been about two years in planning and it’s been a three-month project. I always say I’m the luckiest man in the world as I always enjoy my job every day.”

Keith’s brother Dave Bott, aged 56, of Stafford, added: “We needed a space to expand and it’s amazing that we’ve been able to grow without moving.

“This expansion goes hand-in-hand with our overall expansion programme to open 22 more pubs by 2020. The space will allow us to service all of those new pubs.”

Volunteer business adviser Bernard Lovatt, of Newcastle, who visited the brewery to look around the new facilities, said: “It all sounds very exciting. I think they have good principles behind them.

“It’s nice to see pubs which have been shut down reopen, particularly some of the historic pubs.”

Les Warrilow, aged 65, of Blurton, a builders merchants manager, of W&HS Emery in Cliffe Vale, said: “I like beer that tastes of beer and that is getting increasingly rare. I like the taste and it’s lovely to see a couple of local guys providing something that tastes nice and it’s good to hear of pubs opening instead of closing.

“It is good beer produced locally and we need to blow our own trumpet.”