St Austell Brewery Company has strengthened its South West portfolio with the acquisition of fellow West Country brewer and pub company, Bath Ales for an undisclosed sum.

The deal comprises The Bath Ales brewery, situated between Bath and Bristol, its portfolio of beer brands and its 11-strong pub estate which includes three Graze outlets and three Beerd bars.

James Staughton, chief executive, St Austell Brewery, said: “For a long time Bath Ales has been a company I have admired and this exciting acquisition provides the coming together of two like-minded businesses.

“Bath Ales brews great beer and has a thriving pub estate, both of which complement those of St Austell Brewery. We want to build on Bath Ales’ success to date and are committing to a long-term significant investment in the Bath Ales brands, pub estate, people and brewing facilities.

“Together St Austell Brewery and Bath Ales will deliver solid and distinctive offerings to customers combining conscious innovation, service excellence and the scaling of what works.”]

Roger Jones, founder of Bath Ales, said: “This is a really exciting move for Bath Ales. With the investment and broader support from St Austell Brewery we are better placed to capture the opportunity that exists for Bath Ales.

“We are confident that we can also make a strong contribution to their operations so that the combined organisation can really set the standard for quality beers and outstanding venues.

“From the first contact with St Austell Brewery we genuinely found people and an operation that have a consistent set of values and the same commitment to quality. The combined business will be a force to be reckoned with.”

Bath Ales, founded in 1995, brews a award-winning range of beers including Gem and Barnsey and operates a pub estate in Bristol, Bath, Cirencester and Oxford.

Current Bath Ales directors, including Jones, will play an active role during the transition and integration process.

All of Bath Ales’ beer brands will continue to be brewed at its existing brewery and St Austell Brewery has committed to a schedule of investment to expand the brewing and packaging facilities.

Bath Ales recorded a strong year with sales growth up 7% (to £15.6m). Sales of its beer brands, led by flagship brand Gem, were up 18%, to more than 20,000 brewer’s barrels (just over 30,000 hectolitres) – more than five million pints.