UK wine producer Chapel Down has offloaded Curious Brewery to private equity firm Risk Capital Partners, as it refocuses on its core wine business.
Based in Kent, Curious Brewery was established in 2011 by Chapel Down and offers four core brews: a lager, a session IPA, a cider and a porter. The company’s alcohol range is served across the UK in hotels, bars and restaurants, department stores such as Harrods and Selfridges, as well as Waitrose stores and art venues including The Royal Opera House.
Located in Ashford, the brewery underwent a multi-million-pound development in 2019 and now includes a visitor centre, tasting room and a 120-cover-bar-restaurant.
Following the acquisition, Risk Capital Partners says it plans to invest in a new bottling and canning line, as well as increased support for the sales and marketing functions.
“We see terrific potential in the Curious business, and we’re very excited about its future, despite the challenges of the past year,” said Luke Johnson, co-founder and head of Risk Capital Partners.
“Brewing will always be a cornerstone of British culture, and the craft beer revolution has only strengthened that. Curious is a great brand made in a fabulous facility, and with our support we believe the business can be developed further.”
The deal will see Curious Brewery’s staff move across to the new set up, however, Risk Capital Partners has appointed a new management team to lead the business into the next phase in its development.
Pub and brewing veteran Mark Crowther joins the business as chairman. Crowther most recently served as CEO at Liberation Group and has held senior positions at Carlsberg, Brakes and Diageo. Meanwhile, Simon George – former UK head of Budweiser Budvar – will take on the role of managing director.
Commenting on the appointments, Johnson said: “We are delighted to be working with Mark and Simon, who together bring an enormous wealth of experience and expertise, adding immense value to this business. I couldn’t think of two better people to help unleash the potential for Curious Brewery, and we’re looking forward to supporting them as they get stuck in.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2020
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