Adelaide-based brewing company Pirate Life has been sold to CUB/AB InBev. The announcement was made by CUB this morning, with a spokesperson telling The Crafty Pint everyone at the company is "pumped" and that it will mean the business can progress more quickly with plans for a second brewery in Port Adelaide.
It comes hot on the heels of CUB/AB InBev's purchase of 4 Pines and the earlier introduction of Goose Island into Australia and gives them a formidable portfolio of formerly independent craft brands.
The acquisition also continues the process of Australia's biggest independent brewers being snapped up by multinational companies. Lion/Kirin owns Little Creatures, White Rabbit, Byron Bay Brewery and, in New Zealand, Panhead and Emerson's, Coca-Cola Amatil recently acquired Feral and Asahi owns Mountain Goat and Cricketers Arms.
You can read our interview with Pirate Life CEO Mick Cameron here.
This is the media release issued by CUB this morning:
Pirate Life is set to continue its unprecedented growth path after being acquired by AB InBev.
Pirate Life co-founder, Jack Cameron, said the partnership would help them share great quality beer with more people and focus on their brand, people and customers by providing team Pirate Life with new facilities and expertise.
“Looking back at what we set out to do when we started in 2015, we aimed ‘to be an exciting and challenging new company brewing internationally recognised beer that excites and challenges the lifestyles and palates of beer drinkers globally.’ Continuing with this philosophy, our new partnership helps us take our dream to a level we could never imagine and push ourselves and our beers further,” Jack Cameron said.
Jan Craps, President of AB InBev’s Asia Pacific South Zone, said Pirate Life’s lifestyle-driven brand complements and contributes to the world’s leading brewers’ existing portfolio.
“With its focus on canned packaging that gives consumers fresh, well-crafted beers and consistent quality, Pirate Life has resonated with Australian beer drinkers who want something different.”
“Pirate Life’s brand is premised on a carefree and relaxed attitude and the ability to create great beers. This approach can only be enhanced with a new brewery, access to ingredients and shared knowledge from other AB InBev brewers in Australia and elsewhere.”
The acquisition will enable further innovation for the brewers through a capital investment in a new brewery, with Pirate Life’s current brewery in Hindmarsh becoming a site dedicated to creating new beers, including sours, seasonal and barrel-aged products.
“We have a lot to offer each other and our joint growth plans will commence immediately with a $10m investment in an exciting new South Australian brewery that will benefit the local economy and see more beer lovers live the Pirate Life,” Mr Craps said.
Pirate Life Co-Founder and Chief Brewer, Jared ‘Red’ Proudfoot, said he looked forward to getting the new brewery built, with better equipment to further drive consistency and quality, and to having the freedom at the Hindmarsh site to get creative.
“The reality is we have run out of capacity at Hindmarsh. With this partnership we’re in a fortunate position to upgrade to a new, bigger brewery while dedicating Hindmarsh to innovate and craft a whole range of new styles to make sure we keep pushing the boundaries and evolving.”
Jack was excited at the opportunity for the Pirate Life team around Australia to be part of a global network of brewers and the benefits it will bring to the team in terms of training, education and career development.
“We’ve always believed in and understood what brewers like AB InBev can contribute to the craft beer world with their experience, knowledge, funding and expertise in every aspect of the industry. Good beer is good beer and we believe that our beers are only going to get better.” Jack said.
“Our whole team are sticking around and it’s invaluable for all of us to be able to benefit from the knowledge and skills of some of the best brewers in the world.”
“We were recently able to visit the 10 Barrel Brewing brewpub in the US which really brought to light the value of global shared learning and their approach to hospitality venues. It’s going to be epic to work with the likes of these brewers and I’m incredibly excited that from next year Pirate Life fans will be able to enjoy our beers at our new venue.”
You can read our interview on the sale with CEO Mick Cameron here.