Scottish craft beer maker BrewDog has expanded in the craft cider sector with an investment in London-based brand Hawkes.
Founded by Simon Wright, Hawkes produces ciders under the Elephants on Ice, Urban Orchard, Graff, and Soul Trader brand names.
As part of the deal, BrewDog said it will support Hawkes’ “imminent growth both at home in the UK and internationally”. Its current portfolio of ciders will continue to be produced with additional launches planned, while the senior management team will remain in place.
The move into cider follows the 2016 launch of BrewDog’s spirits division called Lone Wolf, which distils vodka and gin. As it targeted a shift towards cider, the brewer said it didn’t have the expertise which is why is was attracted to Hawkes.
In a statement, BrewDog said: “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 monopolised segment of the drinks scene.
Hawkes founder Simon Wright (centre) has joined forces with BrewDog’s Martin Dickie (left) and James Watt (right)
“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.
“So today, we can announce that we’ve invested in Hawkes, and will be supporting their imminent growth both at home in the UK and internationally. Their range of ciders will remain (and expand), and the people will stay put. Simon’s still at the helm with our senior team drafted in to support his ambitions, and we’re insanely excited to see where we can take cider together.”
Simon Wright added: “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.”
Earlier this year, BrewDog announced plans to build a craft beer hotel and expand capacity of its headquarters in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2018