Martin Hayes, co-founder and managing director of The Craft Beer Co, has bought the virtual freehold of his iconic first pub in London — CASK Pub and Kitchen — from Greene King.

Craft Beer CoOpened in 2009, it is considered by many to have led the way in London for a new type of pub focused on craft beers. It was the launchpad for The Craft Beer Co, which since 2011 has transformed the London pub landscape with nine sites opening, most recently on Old Street.

The deal was concluded privately for an undisclosed figure. A virtual freehold describes a lease which lasts for a period much longer than usual.

Martin said he was extremely grateful to Greene King for all the help and vision they showed in helping him get his business off the ground back in 2009, when free-of-tie agreements and craft beer was not the fashionable trend it is today. “Bob Luke, David Carless, Clive Chesser and Simon Longbottom were all instrumental in helping me to realise my dream.”

The deal comes hot on the heels of the pub again being named in RateBeer’s best bars in the world listing.

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