Arkell’s, the Wiltshire family brewery and pub operator, has acquired its first restaurant-bar as it continues to diversify and refine its estate.

The brewery has taken on Rudi’s Bar & Kitchen at Regents Circus, Swinond, following the retirement of its owners, with the site to be run by Long’s tenant licensee Shaun Montague.

The move follows a year which saw £3.6m investment in refurbishments and acquisition across the estate, which has seen Arkell’s diversify into accommodation and expand its beer range into contemporary styles.

Chairman James Arkell credited the family brewery’s longevity and return to profit after a difficult post-recessionary period with the range of products within the business.

He said: “It’s about maintaining a balance and not putting all our eggs in one basket. I’ve always said I’d rather have a basketful of eggs than three big swan eggs, because if one of the swan eggs breaks you’ve lost a big part of the business.”

The brewery recently acquired two freeholds, The Southbrook in Swindon, and the Youth Hostel in Stow­on­the­Wold, and invested in the White Hart Hotel bringing it to 23 boutique hotel rooms, while a 24-­bedroom extension of the White Hart in Stratton St Margaret was built.

Arkell said the recent additions brought the estate’s rooms to more than 500 and expanded the pub’s hospitality offer into breakfast and accommodation.

Under Arkell’s son, head brewer Alex, the brewery has introduced as raft of contemporary kegged beers to complement its core cask offering.

The brewery is also working on food and beer pairings at some of its dry-led pubs.

  • *For a full interview with James Arkell see the forthcoming February issue of MCA