Heineken Invests in Craft Beer Firm
New Beaverworld site
The new Beavertown site has already been nicknamed Beaverworld, thanks to its scale. The 45,000 hectolitre brewery will be capable of producing 30,000 beer cans at 330ml each every hour. It will also feature a 650m2 visitor centre and shop. This is a 10 times increase on their current brewing capacity, and certainly represents a strong statement of faith from Heineken.
The site will also include an external visitor space, a keg line which can produce 240 30 litre stainless steel kegs per hour, and a five-vessel fully automated brew house. This will certainly give Beavertown the power to hugely increase their output, as well as positioning them as a serious force in craft beer.
The new lines will require an additional 150 operational, management, and packaging jobs, which will represent a significant boost to the company’s current workforce. The Chief Executive, Logan Plant, says that they are looking forward to enjoying long-term stability now that they are partnered with Heineken, and that they will continue to grow at their own pace without too much interference.
The CEO, who is the son of Led Zeppelin’s front man Robert Plant, had previously been looking into other options such as crowd funding and private investors. Ultimately, however, these options were deemed unsuitable for the company’s future, forcing them to look elsewhere. At the opportune moment, Heineken were able to come on board to make the acquisition of their minority stake, for an undisclosed sum of money.
Control of destiny
Plant said, “We retain full control of our destiny. I continue to be the founder, CEO and visionary leading the Beavertown charge and the people you deal with here at the brewery are and will continue to be the dedicated Team Beaver. Heineken want to support us where we want it and otherwise leave us to get on doing what we do best. If there is anything that they can help with to improve our business across the board, they are there to assist, if we reach out.”
It sounds like a great deal for the company, and they will certainly be able to take advantage of the leverage that can be provided by such a large international business as Heineken. They have the knowhow to make it as a huge brand, and are clearly using this expertise as a way to get in on the burgeoning craft beer market without having to make their own changes.
This is not the first time that Heineken have invested in a craft beer company, triggering massive growth and food recruitment. They also acquired a stake in the London brewer Brixton Brewery in November 2017, under what seems to have been a similar agreement. There’s no clear reporting on the sums of money that exchanged hands in either case for the stakes, but they certainly allowed the Brixton Brewery to expand. They have purchased a new 1,393m2 site which gave them an increased capacity of 60,000 pints per week – up from a previous total of 12,000 per week.
It looks like Heineken believe that the future lies in craft beer. While many drinkers around the world will always stick to their more commercial favourites, this is a smart move for the company to profit from not only their own drinks, but also from their competition.