US giant snaps up two British craft breweries

21 July, 2015

Conor Farrell of Cumberland Breweries Ltd with Alltech's Kevin Tuck

US drinks firm Alltech has snapped up Northern Irish brewer The Station Works and Cumbria’s Cumberland Breweries Ltd in a bid to become one of the world’s top 50 craft brewers.

The company, which produces the likes of Kentucky bourbon barrel ale and Town Branch bourbon and also makes animal nutrition products, bought the breweries from the family of the late Northern Irish businessman Lord Ballyedmond.

It is the first major expansion outside of the US for the firm’s brewing division.

Between them the breweries have the capacity to produce 40,000hl and come with several brands, including Finn lager and Foxes Rock ale.

Irish entrepreneur Dr Pearse Lyons, who earned a doctorate in brewing and distilling before setting up the firm, which has a turnover of more than £1 billion, said: “These new purchases will allow us develop already established European brands while at the same time introducing our Kentucky Ale range to new markets. 

“We are dedicated to offering the consumer real choice in the beer sector. Since our first investment in the Alltech Craft Brews & Foods Fair in Dublin three years ago, the sector has mushroomed and our Fair is now the largest in Ireland, attracting more than 10,000 visitors annually.”

The firm also has three breweries under construction in the US and Lyons added:  “We want to be one of the top 50 craft brewers in the world.”




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Rosé tinted glasses

I was asked recently what I thought the biggest change had been in wine fashion in the past five years. My answer was unequivocal: sales of pink wines. From being a niche that expanded and contracted with the sunshine, rosé has subtly but steadily become a stalwart of many merchants’ ranges, with Provence firmly at the top and asked for by name.

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