Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company (CMBC) is to sell or close London Fields Brewery (LFB), a craft brewery based in the center of UK’s capital which was acquired by Carlsberg just four years ago for a report sum of GBP 4 million (USD 5.3m). (inside.beer, 3.7.2017)
Last year, sales of LFB’s main beer brands Hackney Hopster, 3 Weiss Monkeys and Broadway Boss have plunged 31.7%, 95.6% and 50.9% respectively which makes it difficult to operate the business on a profitable basis.Although it can be assumed that the COVID 19 pandemic can be blamed for a large part of the decline and the business can still recover, there are underlying problems that cannot easily be resolved. The London craft beer market is considered one of the most difficult markets in the world, as almost all major international companies have bought their own local craft brewery in recent years.
“After several months of careful review, it is clear that growing LFB will require significant time, resource, and marketing investment,” says Paul Davies, CEO of CMBC. He and his company have therefore “taken the difficult decision” to close the brewery “whilst we also explore the market’s interest in the brewery”.
“As it may take some months to find the right buyer for the brewery, we will close the taproom and stop brewing on site immediately. Our brewing partner Cameron’s will continue to brew LFB in the usual manner to meet existing on-trade customer supply until we finalise a sale,” Davies explained.
“This does not mean that LFB cannot have a bright future as a craft brewer outside of CMBC given the brand’s London provenance. The well-invested brewery will be attractive to other industry players,” he added with reference to the investment of GBP 2.1 (USD 2.8m) in 2019 to modernize brewing operations which included a new Kaspar Schulz brewkit valued at about GBP 1.5m USD 2.0.