Brakspear adds ‘iconic Oxfordshire pub’ to managed estate

Brakspear chief executive Tom Davies at the Nag’s Head, Abingdon

Pub operator and brewer Brakspear has purchased the Nag’s Head in Abingdon, as the 14th pub in its expanding managed estate. The Nag’s Head is a historic riverside pub in the town centre with a reputation for excellent food and drink.

The Nag’s Head sits halfway across Abingdon Bridge on its own island, with extensive gardens seating up to 200 people, a barge bar and wood-fired pizza oven. Its menu offers classic British food freshly-made from local ingredients, accompanied by a wide range of beers and wines. The pub has featured in CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide for the last five years and won a Town & Country Pub of the Year title three times.

Tom Davies, Brakspear chief executive, said, “We’re delighted to be adding the Nag’s Head to our managed division. It’s an iconic Oxfordshire pub and we think it’s fitting that the name above the door and on the bar will now be Brakspear, another Oxfordshire icon.

“The pub is a very successful one and trades especially well over the summer months, so we are not planning any changes to the offer in the short-term. We’re also pleased to be keeping general manager James Griffiths and his team, who have done a fantastic job in making the Nag’s Head such a success. We’re delighted to welcome them into the Brakspear family and looking forward to seeing the pub go from strength to strength.”

He adds, “We’re very happy with the growth of our managed estate, which we started six years ago.  We could have expanded more quickly, but are only adding pubs that are a perfect fit, with the right location, size and style. So, although all our managed pubs have their own individual character, they also share an overarching ethos of serving top quality food, drink and customer service.”

The Nag’s Head has been purchased from a private landlord and takes Brakspear’s managed estate up to 14 sites. The division was formed in 2013 with the opening of the Bull on Bell Street in Henley-on-Thames and includes pubs across the Cotswolds and south east. Last summer, Brakspear reopened the Frogmill near Cheltenham, its largest managed site to date, set in extensive grounds with a sizeable wedding and functions business.