A micro-brewery boss has hit out at “faceless” property chiefs who have vetoed his expansion plans at the last minute.

Huddersfield’s Magic Rock brewery had been all set to move to larger premises amid the rapid growth in the popularity of its beers.

But plans to move from the small brewery at Quarmby Mills to purpose-built premises at the Ringway Industrial Estate off St John’s Road have been scuppered after more than two years of planning.

Landlords of the site have blocked the brewery bosses’ plans to open a tasting room for the craft beers despite the company gaining a liquor licence.

The eleventh hour U-turn has left the small firm, founded just three years ago by brothers Richard and Jonathan Burhouse and Stuart Ross, with a major headache as it had already ordered the £100,000 specialist equipment for bottling and canning its beers amid a surge in business.

“It should be illegal to do this to us,” said Richard. “They led us to believe it wouldn’t be a problem.

“It’s really disappointing as we were transparent from the start about the tasting room. Eight months ago they said it shouldn’t be a problem.

“Planning and licencing are both supportive and surely they know more about it than some faceless property company.

“It’s not a big warehouse for people to get drunk in, it’s somewhere to sample our beers and do a brewery tour.”

Richard said he had been unable to even get a face-to-face meeting or proper explanation from the landlords on why they were not willing to go ahead.

Units 21-23, Ringway Industrial Park, Huddersfield.
 

The Examiner attempted to contact Leeds-based property agents Citivale for an explanation, but no-one was available for a comment.

It is thought the landlords are multi-billion pound firm CBRE Global Investments.

Richard added: “Whoever it is up the food chain doesn’t want to put their name to it, but they’re crazy as it would be great for the area.

“It needs our sort of business.

“Demand for our beers is up about 30% and we’re at full capacity. We can’t sell any more because we can’t make any more.

“A lot of people think we’re a bigger business than we are, but there’s only six of us, including myself.”

Richard said the setback meant his plans to recruit more staff would have to wait and he was desperately looking for somewhere to store the new equipment, along with resuming the hunt for a new site.

Steven Leigh, head of policy at Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce said: “We don’t know the circumstances laying behind this but when something that would have been great for the economy of the town doesn’t happen at this late stage, and employment is being denied, it’s always disappointing.”