Kirin’s Australian beer business Lion has acquired a 50% stake in Four Pillars Gin, marking its first foray into the craft spirits segment.
Located in Healesville on the outskirts of Melbourne, Four Pillars was founded by Cameron Mackenzie, Stuart Gregor and Matt Jones in December 2013. Its portfolio on gins includes Rare Dry, Spiced Negroni, Navy Strength and Bloody Shiraz.
On the back of the investment, the company is now looking to boost sales globally.
“The partnership with Lion really is a ripper for us,” said Stuart Gregor. “It would not be untrue to say that more than a few organisations have shown an interest in us over the past 18 months and Lion just felt the best.
“We like their focus on craft, we like the fact we will be their first and most important craft spirit brand, and we like the fact that part of the deal is a slab of Furphy every month for the rest of our lives.”
“We have a terrific relationship with the senior management at Lion and reckon this is the start of a really exciting new chapter for our business.”
Pictured (from left) are Lion managing director James Brindley and Four Pillars founders Matt Jones, Stuart Gregor, Cameron Mackenzie.
Lion is part of the Lion Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of Japan’s Kirin Holdings. The company’s portfolio of beer brands includes James Squire, Malt Shovel, Kosciuszko and Furphy.
Lion managing director James Brindley said: “The partnership with Four Pillars is really exciting for Lion, as we venture into new categories outside our core beer business.
“What Matt, Cam and Stu have done in creating Four Pillars in just over five years is nothing short of remarkable and we want them to keep their hands on the wheel, while we offer advice, counsel and assistance.”
Last July, Lion acquired British craft beer brand Fourpure, as part of efforts to gain a foothold in the European craft beer market.
Lion launched its international unit in 2015 to take the company’s Australian and New Zealand craft beers and ciders into new markets and accelerate the growth of its wine business in North America.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019
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