Sunday, February 5, 2023

Curious Brewery adds Wild Beer Co brands to portfolio

Curious Brewery, the premium brewer that was last year acquired out of the Chapel Down English wine business, has reached an agreement to add Wild Beer Co to its specialist portfolio of premium and award-winning beers.

The acquisition will double the size of the existing Curious operation. Curious beers are brewed at their state-of-the-art brewery in Kent, where they have a current production capacity of 5 million pints per year and potential to expand upwards of 15 million pints per year.

Curious Brewery chairman Mark Crowther said: “We are delighted to be collaborating with some of the original team from Wild Beer Co to maintain the original innovative and creative spirit of that business. Adding their delicious craft beers to our stable of award- winning premium brands, Wild Beer Co’s range fits perfectly alongside our existing portfolio, delivering a range of interesting and differentiated beers.

“The Wild Beer Co acquisition brings a lot of positives including high-quality beers and distinctive brands, impressive distribution in both the on and off-trade, as well as a significant direct-to-consumer e-commerce operation.

“This new chapter for Wild Beer Co will bring some stability, placing the business on a sure footing. For Curious, this is an important step in our journey to become one of the UK’s leading brewers of specialist, premium beer, and ciders.”

Following the transaction, Wild Beer Co’s portfolio – led by flagship brew, Wild IPA – will sit alongside Curious’ premium English lager, Curious Brew which is brewed with Champagne yeast, and its award-winning Curious Session IPA and Curious Apple cider.

As part of the deal, Curious Brewery intends to honour the subscriptions and regular discounts available to current members of Wild Beer Co’s Secret Cellar Club and previous shareholders.

As well as listings in many hotels, bars and restaurants, the beers of the enlarged business are sold in Waitrose, Sainsbury’s and Majestic, as well as luxury department store Harrods and landmark venues such as The Royal Opera House.

Curious Brewery was acquired in April 2021 from Chapel Down by a team led by Crowther and backed by Risk Capital Partners, the private equity firm led by Luke Johnson. Prior to the change of ownership, a new multimillion-pound freehold brewery was built in 2019. Located in Ashford, Kent, opposite the international train station, it has been described as a ‘cathedral to beer’ and includes a visitor centre, tap room and a 120-cover bar-restaurant.

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