New Zealand: 27-year old Harrington's Brewery gives up independence

Lion Breweries, a subsidiary of Kirin Holdings Company, has acquired Harrington's Brewery in Christchurch, New Zealand, one of the oldest craft breweries in the country. The deal comes just one month after Lion acquired Fourpure Brewing Co., based in UK’s capital London. (, 9.7.2018)

When John Harrington, one of the pioneers in craft brewing, set up the business in Christchurch, New Zealand, 27 years ago there was only one other independent brewer of note beside the two dominant players Lion and its rival, Dominion Breweries. While the two market leaders nowadays still have a market share of about 90% and belong to Japan’s Kirin and Heineken’s Asia Pacific Breweries there are today more than 150 independent breweries in New Zealand.

The market was "a very different place" from when he started, says John Harrington, and he had been thinking for a while about how best to carry the business into the future. Over the last three years, he already stopped operating his own retail outlets and focussed on bottled beers for supply to supermarkets. Then he approached Lion, which was honored by the move according to Rory Glass, Managing Director of Lion.

"Harrington's has such a rich and proud history and will be a fantastic complement to our existing range, with beers like Rogue Hop, Wobbly Boot, and Ngahere Gold. We will build on what has made Harrington's so great and help make their beers more accessible to people across the country," Glass was quoted on, a news website from New Zealand.

Lion plans to invest about NZ$2 million (US$1.35 million) in updating the Christchurch brewery and plans to sell Harrington’s product line through Lion's national sales network, just like they did with Nelson-based McCashin's which Lion bought in 1999 and Dunedin-base Emerson's, which joined the Lion family in 2012.

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