From Scorpion premium lager to Strongarm red ale, this company produces up to 700,000 barrels of beer a year. It owns the Lion Brewery in Hartlepool, which started brewing in 1865 and now has a dedicated bottling and packaging line. The company also owns about 75 pubs in the north of England. David Soley, chairman and chief executive, led a buyout from Wolverhampton & Dudley Breweries in 2002, for an undisclosed sum. Profits grew 58% a year from £1.2m in 2005 to £4.8m in 2008.
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