UK: BrewDog buys London-based cider maker

Scottish craft brewer BrewDog has made an undisclosed investment in London-based cider maker Hawkes. The company announced that Hawkes’ senior management team will stay the same with Simon Wright, the founder of Hawkes cider at its helm. BrewDog wants to keep and expand the existing product range of ciders, which will be marketed on a larger scale than before.

A blog published last Friday on BrewDog’s website outlined the rationale behind the deal:

“We’ve come a long way since our inception, and along that journey we’ve also extended our desire to reinvigorate tired industries with the launch of LoneWolf, our spirits arm, bottling distilled anarchy from our home in Aberdeenshire. With LoneWolf, our team was primed to shape our spirits division, as we had senior distillation experts in place.

When we recently turned our attention to cider, we attempted to create it ourselves but found the expertise didn’t already exist within our crew. As such, we looked at how else we could support this category of the drinks scene, which has so much potential.

A few months ago, we met with Simon Wright, the founder of Hawkes cider in London. Here, we found a kindred spirit. Hawkes’ approach to cider parallels our heritage with beer, and we see huge potential in the difference the business can make to a mass-market monopolized segment of the drinks scene. Cider has a massive opportunity to be so much more than a sweet, fizzy pint of something soulless, or a sickly pink drink with more calories than a coke. Cider can be as much of a craft beverage as beer, and has as bright a future as brewing.”

Simon Wright said: “We’ve always made it clear that our mission is to be the best craft cider company in the world. We’ve also been overt that the UK cider market needs to change. Today, this new investment from BrewDog will accelerate the speed at which we can make this a reality. I believe most people will see Hawkes and BrewDog as a natural fit. The synergies in ethos of both businesses are bold and unique.”

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