Kirin-owned Australian Brewery Lion has overnight announced the purchase of London-based craft brewery Fourpure.
The Bermondsey-based brewery was founded in 2013 and has grown rapidly, including a £2.5m expansion earlier this year.
Fourpure known for beers including Session IPA and Pils Lager, is a major feature of London’s Bermondsey Beer Mile, as well as selling into stores such as Marks & Spencer and Tesco.
The sale, for an undisclosed amount, comes just weeks after Heineken paid £40m to take a minority stake in Fourpure’s London rival Beavertown and is a further sign of Lions international plans.
The brewer has recently opened a brewpub in Singapore, adding to its Hong Kong venture, with plans for a London outlet. The purchase also adds to Lion’s international portfolio, which includes New Zealand’s Emerson’s Brewery and Panhead Custom Ales.
Lion’s parent Kirin, also has a 24.5% stake in New York’s Brooklyn Brewery. Brooklyn currently has a brewing and distribution relationship with Coopers in Australia , which is understood to be up for renewal next year. With Lion’s interest in international brands, it is expected that Brooklyn will move into the Lion portfolio at the end of the agreement with Coopers.
A post on Fourpure’s blog said the decision to go with Lion was because it was a ‘great business’.
“Put simply, it’s a great business with fantastic people, strong sustainability credentials and a lot of expertise we can learn from. We also think there’s a very good cultural fit and we see a fantastic opportunity to work together to grow both Fourpure and Lion’s suite of craft beers, ciders and fine wines,” the post said.
It said founders brothers Dan and Tom Lowe will stay with the business.
“Lion has a long track record of working with entrepreneurs, their aim is to let us get on with what we do best, while seeking to give us full access to the benefits of being part of Lion. There’s still a lot of growth and opportunity for us within the business.”
Lion acquires leading London craft brewer, Fourpure Brewing Co.
Tuesday, 10 July 2018: Lion has acquired 100 per cent of Fourpure Brewing Co, a leading London craft brewer.
Lion has a long history of investing in great businesses and empowering them to keep doing what they do best, while giving them the financial and strategic support to get their products to more people.
Fourpure Co-founder and CEO Daniel Lowe said: “Over the past 12 months we’ve been working hard to find the right investment path for the next phase of the Fourpure story. While in four short years Fourpure has grown to become one of London’s leading independent modern craft brewers, we knew we couldn’t take the next adventure alone. We met Lion towards the end of our process after a wide range of funding options had been considered, and quickly realised we had a shared vision and values.”
“It was clear from the very first meeting that Matt and the Lion team understand the needs of a craft brewery and share our aspirations for quality and sustainability. Lion’s past investments in craft breweries in Australia and New Zealand, including Little Creatures, have always respected the beer and the people.”
Lion is already active in the UK and Europe, selling a range of Australian and New Zealand craft beers and fine wines from the US and New Zealand. In time, there will be an opportunity to look at how both businesses’ sales and distribution channels can be used to reach more drinkers, not only in the UK but also in Europe and global markets where both businesses are already growing. Daniel Lowe remains CEO with co-founder and brother, Tom Lowe also staying on with Fourpure.
Lion Global Markets Managing Director Matt Tapper said: “Lion has a long and proud history in craft beer in Australia and New Zealand and we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to back Dan, Tom and the team to take Fourpure into its next chapter. The guys have done a superb job in getting the business to where it is now and we love how innovative they’ve been in both beer styles and the way they have positioned the brand. We’re making real progress in making our craft beers like Little Creatures available in the UK and Europe and we see some great opportunities to work together to get these and Fourpure’s brews in thehands of more beer lovers.”
Fourpure is known for its approachable styles and flagship beers like its World Beer Cup medal-winning Pils Lager and popular Session IPA. Founded in 2013 by brothers Daniel and Thomas Lowe, Fourpure’s brewery and hospitality venue is part of the renowned ‘Bermondsey Beer Mile’ craft brewing hub in South East London. The modern UK Craft market is one of the world’s largest and fastest growing globally in volume terms. It currently represents around 5% volume share of craft beer.
The commercial details of the transaction are confidential