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St Peter’s Brewery acquires Curious Brewery and Wild Beer Co

Suffolk-based St Peter’s Brewery has acquired Curious Brewery along with the Wild Beer Co brands, for an undisclosed sum.

The sale, which was first reported via Propel, sees the Curious and Wild Beer Co businesses transfer into the hands of St Peter’s, which was itself acquired by a group of private individuals for an undisclosed sum at the start of 2021.

The deal follows a tumultuous time for each of the businesses after private equity firm Risk Capital Partners (RCP) swooped in to acquire Kent-based Curious Brewery from English wine company Chapel Down back in the spring of 2021.

Chapel Down had first established Curious in 2011 with Curious sporting a portfolio of three beers – a lager, an IPA and a porter – as well as also offering a cider under the Curious brand. However, by 2021 RCP founder Luke Johnson, who had previously backed Laine’s Pub Co and Draft House pubs, had insisted he saw “terrific potential” in Curious.

“We’re very excited about its future, despite the challenges of the past year,” he said. “Brewing will always be a cornerstone of British culture, and the craft beer revolution has only strengthened that. Curious is a great brand made in a fabulous facility, and with our support we believe the business can be developed further. We are particularly pleased to be taking on all Curious employees, who bring with them a wealth of insight and knowledge.”

While under ownership by RCP, Curious brewery, located in Ashford, had appointed Mark Crowther, former chief executive of Liberation Group and Simon George, former UK head of Budweiser Budvar, as chairman and managing director. George, however, left the business last summer.

Earlier this year, Curious bought Wild Beer Co out of administration in a deal that involved the beer brands and intellectual property of Wild Beer Co, but not its Somerset-based brewery production facilities.

Crowther, when speaking about the Wild Beer Co brand, had previously said that the “new chapter ” for Wild Beer would “bring some stability, placing the business on a sure footing”. Now, with anoither new company at the helm of operations it leads to be seen as to whether the future of the Wild Beer Co will prosper under the new ownership and gain the stability it needed to thrive, or if the former brewery’s reputation for experimentation, craft and flavour will be absorbed into homogeneity.

St Peter’s Brewery was initially founded in Suffolk by John Murphy, who ran the business for 23 years. Now, the business is led by chief executive Derek Jones who formerly worked for big beer in roles for Molson Coors and SABMiller and has held positions for each all over the world, predominantly in marketing.

Under St Peter’s ownership the Wild Beer Co and Curious beers are rumoured to continue to be listed in Waitrose, Sainsburys and Majestic, as well as luxury department store Harrods and landmark venues such as The Royal Opera House as well as a whole host of restaurants and bars.

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