Carlsberg UK has acquired London Fields Brewery and will operate the business in a joint venture with Brooklyn Brewery.
The London Fields Brewery will operate as an independent business and its craft beer range will become part of the Danish brewer’s core portfolio in the UK. It will also form part Carlsberg’s House of Beers range – which already includes the Brooklyn Brewery craft beer portfolio.
London Fields was founded in 2011 and gained popularity with its range of craft beers including Easy IPA and Shoreditch Triangle IPA.
The company’s beverages are currently brewed by a brewing partner but investment will be made to reintroduce brewing at its original home in Hackney and to upgrade its taproom and events space.
As part of the joint venture, Brooklyn Brewery will work with the London Fields team to continue developing new beers.
Carslberg UK CEO Julian Momen said: “We’re thrilled to add London Fields Brewery to our growing portfolio of great quality craft and speciality beers.
“Our customers, and specifically those in London and other major cities, are looking to us to offer them the best possible range of interesting craft beers – and we think that, with nurturing, London Fields Brewery has huge potential. It’s the right move for us as we build a credible craft portfolio.”
Analysis: ‘a short while in the making’
This deal is a short while in the making for Carlsberg, which has historically lagged behind Heineken and Anheuser-Busch in buying into craft. Its CEO in the UK, Julian Momen, had earlier hinted that the company was in the market for a craft brewer. Now that it’s got it, it gives Carlsberg a foothold to compete with Anheuser-Busch’s Camden Town Brewery and Meantime Brewing, which recently passed into the hands of Asahi. London has one of the most thriving craft beer scenes outside North America and London Fields is certainly an established and popular part of that. It can only be a strong signal of intent from the world’s fourth largest brewer.
The announcement deepens the collaboration between Brooklyn Brewery and its exclusive UK distributor Carlsberg. Earlier this year a deal was agreed to introduce the brand’s Scorcher IPA into the UK.
Speaking of the London Fields partnership, Brooklyn Brewery CEO Eric Ottaway said: “The range of beers, their eye-catching artwork and the great location of the brewery in Hackney makes for a fantastic platform.
“London Fields Brewery is surrounded by a thriving creative community that reminds us of home, and we’re looking forward to becoming part of it.”
Last month Carlsberg released a new craft beer portfolio featuring 65 beers and ciders to help operators make informed menu recommendations.
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