By James Atkinson

Lion is set to acquire 100 per cent of the shares in Dunedin, New Zealand-based craft brewer, Emerson's.

Emerson's said in a statement that the deal will begin an exciting new chapter in its 20-year brewing history as its team of 12 and range of craft beers are welcomed into the Lion NZ family.

"Emerson's will remain as a standalone business unit within Lion and will continue to produce the same great beers from the same Dunedin brewery with the same great people," the brewer said.

Emerson's founder, Richard Emerson said: "It is business as usual for Emerson's – the taste, integrity to style, quality and consistency of our beers will remain the same. Lion’s ownership allows us to continue doing what we do well – experimenting and brewing great beer. We will now have the backing to help us to realise our growth aspirations".

Lion NZ managing director Rory Glass said Emerson's is a "fantastic brand with a rich story and iconic beers". 

"It complements Lion's existing beer portfolio well and allows us to offer our customers an enhanced proposition with a leading portfolio of brands across the specialty, boutique and popular craft market," he said.

In a blog post for Beer & Brewer, NZ beer writer Neil Miller admitted to being surprised at the development.

"In a recent issue of Beer & Brewer I concluded that the craft breweries producing enough beer to make them a takeover target – places like Emerson’s, Tuatara, Three Boys, Harrington’s, Steam and Renaissance – seem determined to remain independent," he said.

"Less than six months later, I am proved wrong."

Miller nonetheless said he wishes Emerson's the absolute best with the new arrangement.

"They are one of the best breweries in the country, some of the best people in the business and this is the path they have chosen," he said.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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