The rumours that have been circulating around the industry for a good week have this morning been confirmed, with the news that Balter Brewing Company has agreed a deal with Carlton & United Breweries (CUB).
Last week, on the back of the strength of those rumours, TheShout spoke with all the major brewers about the possibility of buying Balter. Asahi said “no”, Lion said “no” and CUB said “we don’t comment on rumours”.
But it is confirmed now and Balter, which was founded in 2016 by a group of childhood friends including professional surfers Mick Fanning and Joel Parkinson, is now one of Australia’s most popular craft beers and joins other craft brands including 4Pines and Pirate Life at CUB. The friends founded brewery thinking that good beer is for everyone, and they wanted to create a world-class beer supported by a brand that didn’t take itself too seriously.
Since then, the business has experienced strong growth and won major awards including the number one spot for the last two years straight in the GABS Hottest 100.
Balter CEO and co-founder Ant Macdonald said: “We’re proud to have grown the business to this point and we see the benefits this new partnership will bring as Balter enters its next growth phase.
“This deal will help us achieve our sustainability goals, upgrade capacity and hospitality at our Gold Coast brewery and create new jobs.
“We refused to compromise on our culture or our beer as part of this deal. It’s a testament to CUB that they didn’t want us to. They have an amazing track record of allowing craft brands to thrive while keeping their identity and we’re thrilled to join the CUB stable.”
Co-founder Mick Fanning said: “From day one we’ve tried to not only brew the most delicious beer but create a brand that was fun and inclusive – something the Aussie public would be proud to call its own. We’re stoked Balter has connected so well with Aussies and we can’t wait to continue our journey with CUB and get good beer into the hands of more beer lovers.”
CUB CEO Peter Filipovic said: “In a few short years Balter has become a craft leader through its commitment to quality and by building a brand that appeals to all beer lovers.
“We will help manage Balter’s strong growth through our willingness to invest, our world-class beer expertise and our customer relationships. And the terms of the deal mean the Balter team is not changing and management is staying on, which will ensure the business retains its identity and everything else that helped drive its success.
“The deal also means we’re expanding our presence in Queensland, where we already have a significant economic footprint with our Yatala brewery employing more than 250 people.”
TheShout will this morning be speaking with Macdonald, Fanning and Filipovic about the deal and will bring you what they have to say in tomorrow’s newsletter.