The founders of Balter called it “a massive day” as it announced the craft brewery had been bought by Carlton & United Breweries.
Balter started on the Gold Coast in 2016. Co-founders include Bede Durbidge, Scott Hargrave, Josh Kerr, Stirling Howland, Mick Fanning, Ant Macdonald, Sean Ronan and Joel Parkinson.
In an open letter to its customers, the founders said it had been “a massive day. We’re rapt to say we’ve just finalised a deal to become a part of the Carlton & United Breweries family”.
They reassured drinkers the beer would stay the same and Scotty (Scott Hargrave) would remain as head brewer.
Balter CEO and co-founder Ant Macdonald said: “We’re proud to have grown the business to this point and we see the benefits this new partnership will bring as Balter enters its next growth phase.
“This deal will help us achieve our sustainability goals, upgrade capacity and hospitality at our Gold Coast brewery and create new jobs.
CUB CEO Peter Filipovic said: “In a few short years Balter has become a craft leader through its commitment to quality and by building a brand that appeals to all beer lovers.
Filipovic said: “We will help manage Balter’s strong growth through our willingness to invest, our world-class beer expertise and our customer relationships. And the terms of the deal mean the Balter team is not changing and management is staying on, which will ensure the business retains its identity and everything else that helped drive its success.
“The deal also means we’re expanding our presence in Queensland, where we already have a significant economic footprint with our Yatala brewery employing more than 250 people.”
Media reports said the deal was worth as much as $200 million but Food & Drink Business could not confirm this by press time.
Macdonald said: “We refused to compromise on our culture or our beer as part of this deal. It’s a testament to CUB that they didn’t want us to. They have an amazing track record of allowing craft brands to thrive while keeping their identity and we’re thrilled to join the CUB stable.”
On its website, the company said the biggest change would be its availability. For the company, it would mean more resources and “therefore less stress at night knowing the lights will stay on”.
CUB bought wine disruptor Riot Wine Co in September (Food & Drink Business, 29 September 2019) and already owns craft breweries 4 Pines and Pirate Life.
Asahi Group Holdings’ proposed acquisition of CUB from Anheuser-Busch InBev for $16 billion in July is waiting on a decision from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission on whether Asahi will need to make divestments for the buyout to go ahead. It is expected to report next week (Food & Drink Business, 23 July 2019).
CUB is #8 on the Food & Drink Business Australia's Top 100 Food & Drink Companies 2019, climbing from #14 in 2018.