Beverage giant Lion has taken a significant stake in Victorian craft gin maker Four Pillars Gin, which was founded in 2013.

Lion is owned Japanese beverage giant Kirin Holdings, and its portfolio includes James Squire, Little Creatures, Kosciuszko, and Furphy.

Four Pillars Gin is based in Healesville in the Yarra Valley on the outskirts of Melbourne, Australia. Its founders Stuart Gregor, Cameron Mackenzie and Matt Jones say the investment will allow them to further their ambition of building a leading international craft gin brand.

“The partnership with Lion really is a ripper for us,” said Gregor. “It would not be untrue to say that more than a few organisations have shown an interest in us over the past 18 months and Lion just felt the best.

“We like their focus on craft, we like the fact we will be their first and most important craft spirit brand, and we like the fact that part of the deal is a slab of Furphy every month for the rest of our lives.

“We have a terrific relationship with the senior management at Lion and reckon this is the start of a really exciting new chapter for our business.”

Lion Managing Director James Brindley said, “The partnership with Four Pillars is really exciting for Lion, as we venture into new categories outside our core beer business.”

“What Matt, Cam and Stu have done in creating Four Pillars in just over five years is nothing short of remarkable and we want them to keep their hands on the wheel, while we offer advice, counsel and assistance.”

Four Pillars distributor Vanguard Luxury Brands will continue to sell the craft gin brand to bars, retailers, restaurants and pubs across Australia.

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