5 Points on the Beavertown Buyout
For those of you who’ve been on holiday, or living under a rock we have an unfortunate announcement. It pains us to say that Beavertown have sold a reported 49% stake to Heineken for £40million.
In this week’s blog we’re going to have a look over what’s happened and what it means for the titanic brand.
So what’s the craic?
The minority stake was sold in exchange for investment in Beavertown’s dream facility ‘Beaverworld’. This new attraction would allow production of 450,000 hectolitres and create 150 jobs.
Have they sold out?
It’s a minority stake in a company where original decision makers, Logan Plant and wife Bridget, maintain full control. Heineken say “We love what they’re doing and are excited to be able to help them do more…Our minority investment means they can make their dream of Beaverworld a reality.”
Logan Plant addressed the issue too in the evening standard. He said, “I understand what a big brewer brings, and perhaps how they can be perceived, but this is an arms-length deal. My wife and I remain in full control of the company. We’ve been very lucky — Heineken said to us, ‘Here’s £40 million, build this dream, and if you need us, we’re here’.”
Where are they brewing?
At the moment production is split between the original brewery in Tottenham Hale, Redchurch Brewery in London and Brouwerij De Brabandere in Belgium. With production of Neck Oil and Gamma Ray being outsourced one could be forgiven for thinking Beavertown have stepped away from their independent ideals.
Beavertown’s Brand and Communications manager, Sam Millard, however would disagree. He said, “I was torn between the fact that doing this made perfect sense for the beer and our growth…but that it felt ‘un Beavertown’. Let’s face it ‘contract brewing’ is a dirty phrase in the craft beer industry.”
Having visited the facility, however he said, “It was clear to me that this is much less a contract brew, and much more a partnership, and that this family brewery…now feels like part of the Beavertown family”
So what’s happening to Beaverex?
The Beavertown Extravaganza is Beavertown’s annual beer festival with street food, craft beer exhibitions and of course, beer on tap.
The aim this year was for 90 brewers to exhibit at Beaverex but, as of last week around 50% had pulled out. Those to have left include Cloudwater and Brewdog, with more breweries and customers boycotting the event.
Not everyone was happy with the breweries for leaving, with video blogger HopZine saying, “I’m personally very disappointed with the breweries pulling out. The only people you are actually effecting are the people that bought tickets, booked trains and hotels like myself.”
The event is still going ahead, however, with Beavertown having already refunded £20 from each ticket as a gesture of goodwill. A full refund is available on request if you decide the event is no longer for you.
What is the future of Beavertown at The Pip Stop?
Put quite simply, we don’t know. As much as we love Beavertown, it pains us to see another member of the UK craft scene fall to the big boys.
The next step we feel, is theirs to take. Put bluntly, if they follow the likes of Brewdog, Camden and Brooklyn down the route to the supermarket shelves they will find themselves on our naughty list.
If, however, they stay true to their independent roots, support the bottle shops and bars that got them to where they are, then we shall happily support them in the next step of their adventure.