Lion to open London brewery for Little Creatures brand

Australasian food and beverage company Lion is to open a London brewery for its craft beer brand Little Creatures, following its acquisition of UK breweries Fourpure and Magic Rock.

Little Creatures’ operations in Fremantle.

Following its acquisition of Bermondsey brewer Fourpure in July 2018 and Huddersfield’s Magic Rock last month, Lion is expanding its investment in UK beer.

The company is to open a taproom and restaurant behind new development Granary Square in King’s Cross. The 557sqm site features a six-hectolitre brewery, taproom and restaurant.

Lion first introduced Little Creatures to the London market in 2017 when it ran a pop-up in Elephant & Castle. As well as London, it is also opening new venues in San Francisco, Taipei and Auckland.

According to The Grocer, head brewer at Little Creatures, Lara Smith, has relocated to London from Australia in order to supervise the project.

Lion UK and Europe regional director Toby Knowles told the title that the investment in the UK would “embed the Little Creatures brand in the community, provide greater awareness and ultimately market the brand to an audience who already have a real interest in craft”.

Little Creatures was founded in Fremantle in Western Australia in 2000. Developing a reputation for its pale ale, it expanded its brewhouse in 2005 and was later acquired by Lion in 2012.

In 2013, it opened a brewery in Geelong in the state of Victoria. Since then it has also opened sites in Singapore, Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai. 

In addition to beer, Lion also acquired a 50% stake in Australian gin brand Four Pillars last month. 

At the time of Fourpure’s acquisition in July 2018, a statement released by the Bermondsey brewer revealed that Lion had four members of staff based in the UK.

It also added: “They [Lion] see Fourpure and our beer as a primary focus here in the UK and as their sole production brewing facility we will benefit from all the time, expertise and investment required to succeed, and that means that everything around the brewery will be a little bit easier and a little bit better.”

However, Lion has also gone on to invest in Yorkshire’s Magic Rock, enabling the Huddersfield craft brewer to increase its reach both in the UK and globally.

Lion’s parent company Kirin Holdings, which as well as the Kirin Brewery Company and Kirin Beverage Company, also has a 55% stake in Myanmar Brewery Ltd, jointly owns San Miguel Brewery and has a 24.5% stake in Brooklyn Brewery.

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