By James Atkinson

Asahi Premium Beverages will acquire a pilot brewery to facilitate production of one-off beers for recently acquired boutique brand Cricketers Arms, as the Laverton, Victoria site increases its overall focus on beer.

Beer currently represents just five per cent of the output of the former Independent Distillers facility, which to date has been predominately about production of ready-to-drink spirits.

But beer is forecast to eventually represent 25 per cent of production, following the redevelopment of the Laverton plant with considerable investment by new owner Asahi.

The plant now boasts new high speed, high volume keg lines, and extensive brewery upgrades including new fermentation vessels and world class Steinecker brewing equipment.

Unveiling the new kit this week, Asahi Premium Beverages CEO Greg Ellery (pictured above left) told journalists the future growth in beer production will come from Cricketers Arms, as well as the company’s private label business, for which it already counts Coles, Woolworths and Aldi as customers.

“It’s very common knowledge, we’re very acquisitive,” he added.

“We’ll continue to buy businesses that we believe fit our portfolio.” 

Cricketers Arms master brewer, Dermot O’Donnell

Ellery said Cricketers Arms will be developed to an optimum scale of 400,000-plus cases annually, which he believes would still preserve its credibility as a craft beer brand.

“How big do you take Cricketers before it loses its sexiness [or] quirkiness? We won’t take it over that level,” he said.

Developed by master brewer Dermot O’Donnell, the relaunched Cricketers Arms portfolio includes the pre-existing Cricketers Arms Lager along with two new SKUs, Indian Pale Ale and Mid On, the latter a mid-strength beer.

Ellery said the new pilot brewery will enable production of 3000 case, special run beers to develop Cricketers’ credentials as a craft beer brand.

The Shout Team

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1 Comment

  1. Cricketers Arms has already lost its
    “sexiness [or] quirkiness”, Once you mention to a customer that it is owned by Asahi, and that they own cruiser and woodstock, The Cricketers Arms loses credibility.

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