Australia: Leading brewery goes for wine in kegs

Carlton & United Breweries (CUB), one of the two leading Australian breweries, has announced to buy Adelaide-based Riot Wine Co, the only business in Australia that exclusively sells wine in kegs and cans. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

The business, which was started in 2016 by Joe Cook and Tom O’Donnell is expanding rapidly as more and more pubs in the country are deciding to replace traditional wine bottles by wine in kegs. The company currently uses stainless steel kegs for quality and sustainability reasons. One keg is replacing dozens of non-returnable wine bottles, thus avoiding all the environmental impacts associated to it.

CUB sees synergies by expanding Riot Wine’s keg business through CUB’s draught network.

“Riot Wine Co is a truly innovative company and CUB shares its commitment to quality and sustainability," said CUB's new Vice President of sales for Australia & New Zealand, Rose Scott. Scott joined the company in February 2019, coming from Summergate Fine Wines, where she was as CEO of the company responsible for selling wines and spirits across Greater China. In relation to Riot Wine, Scott is impressed by the "rapid expansion in just three years” which “shows venues and retailers agree that it can deliver great things for consumers."

Cook, one of the co-founders of Riot Wine, sees in CUB “a strategic partner with similar core values”, namely “strong partnerships, quality and sustainability.”

“I’m personally quite close to the founders of 4 Pines and Pirate Life, which have been previously acquired by CUB,” he says. “We’re looking to follow a similar path.”

4 Pines Brewing Company, a craft brewer from Sydney, Australia was bought in September 2017 (, 22.9.2017) and Pirate Life Brewing from Adelaide, Australia in November 2017 (, 30.11.2017).

The two founders have committed themselves to stay on board for the further expansion of the business.They are planning to use the capital injection to rapidly scale their national operation.

CUB mother AB InBev announced in July to sell the company to Asahi Group Holdings from Japan (, 19.7.2019). The deal is still subject to regulatory approval

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