Craft Union – Ei Group’s largest managed house division – has added 31 sites in the past three months.

The nationwide expansion has taken the group to a 122-strong estate.

Craft Union has its roots in the north of England, debuting its first pub in May 2015, but has recently opened pubs in East Anglia, the South East and South West. Among the new additions to the fast-growing estate are: The Boundary, Norwich, The George, Ashford, The Crown, Ramsgate and The Clocktower, Torquay.

To continue further expansion, a pipeline of sites is being built in these regions, as well as along the south coast, and the M4 corridor toward south Wales.

The traditionally wet-led format is also trialling a new food offer focusing on simple, quality dishes such as burgers and pizzas to complement the TV sports-viewing occasion. EiG said that If successful, this more extensive consumer offer will allow for additional sites to be considered for the estate.

Frazer Grimbleby, operations director for Craft Union Pub Company, said: “It’s always been our intention to develop into a leading scale operator of community pubs and our recent expansion southwards marks an important milestone in that journey.

“We aim to put great quality pubs back at the heart of the local community as we strongly believe pubs play a vital role in the lives of their customers and we are committed to nurturing this. The community is at the heart of every decision we make and our tailored offer reflects this. In a Craft Union pub, customers can expect to see their favourite quality brands on the bar at competitive prices alongside a wide range of sports and entertainment.

“Absolutely key to the proposition is the close relationship and extensive support we provide our operators as they practice their craft of running outstanding pubs. With the right investment in areas such as sports viewing, entertainment, quality interiors and affordable drinks delivering value to the consumer, we’re confident our pubs will continue to thrive.”

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