UK: Kirin/Lion sells craft beer division to provider of hotel rooms

Australian beverage group Lion, a subsidiary of Japanese brewer Kirin, has sold its craft beer divison to Odyssey Inns, a provider of hotel rooms, apartments and related services. Alongside the beer brands beer brands Fourpure and Magic Rock, Odyssey has also snapped up breweries and taprooms in London, Huddersfield and Holmfirth (both West Yorkshire) and the Little Creatures craft beer hospitality venue in Kings Cross in the heart of London.

Odysee Inns is led by Stephen Cox, who is also the co-founder and non-exec Chairman of Utopian Brewing in Devon, South West England. However, following the new deal, Cox announced to step down as non-exec Chairman of Utopian Brewing.

Commenting on the deal, Stephen Cox said: "This is an incredible opportunity to take two exceptional brands, Fourpure and Magic Rock, to the next level. Combined with an excellent hospitality proposition, fantastic people and state of the art breweries, we really have the platform to do great things.

"We’re excited to get started and get to know the team. We bring bags of energy and enthusiasm, entrepreneurial spirit and strong industry experience, and we hope to bring joy to many more customers with these great beers."

Lion's UK managing director Gordon Treanor, said: "Odyssey brings together a great team with a clear passion for brewing and hospitality and is ideally placed to take Magic Rock and Fourpure forward. I would like to thank our brilliant team for their commitment and dedication, especially over the past two years. With some great sales and brand momentum, the business is well placed for the future under new ownership."

Lion Little World Beverages, the global craft beer division of Lion, announced In January that it has appointed advisers to review options for its Lion Little World Beverages UK business. (, 18.1.2022)

The company said it had encountered “difficult trading conditions over the past two years” in the UK. In addition, Lion has “made very significant craft beer investments in both Australia and the United States.”

“Like any business, we need to make choices as to where we continue to direct our investment,” Lion Little World UK MD Gordon Treanor said in a statement.

Last year, Lion acquired Bell’s Brewery, the seventh largest craft brewery in the United States  (, 10.11.2021which joined New Belgium Brewing, the fourth largest craft brewery in the United States bought in 2019  (, 19.11.2019)

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