BrewDog – known for its rebellious attitude against ‘industrially brewed lagers and stuffy ales’ - and Hawkes see parallels in their approaches to shake-up the beer and cider categories respectively.
Hawkes produces Urban Orchard cider products, along with Graff apple pale ale and alcoholic ginger beer.
‘The UK cider market needs to change’
Simon Wright, founder or Hawkes, said the two companies are a natural fit: ‘the synergies in ethos of both businesses are bold and unique’.
“We’ve always made it clear that our mission is to be the best craft cider company in the world. We’ve also been overt that the UK cider market needs to change. Today, this new investment from BrewDog will accelerate the speed at which we can make this a reality.
“In 2005, James [James Watt, BrewDog co-founder] set out on his mission to help take the world of beer into a new direction in the UK. Ten years later, we set out to do the same in cider.
“The proof is there in front of us. Over the following years, not only has BrewDog flourished but hundreds of brilliant breweries have followed their lead. This needs to happen in cider too.
“The democratisation of cider in the UK, and the world, is our key priority, but we can’t do it alone. I hope this announcement today proves to any cidermaker that the future of craft cider can be as exciting as beer if we continue to push boundaries, never compromise and most importantly, educate.”
BrewDog, which has already expanded into spirits via its LoneWolf distilling arm, says cider ‘can be as much of a craft beverage as beer, and has as bright a future as brewing’.
“When we recently turned our attention to cider, we attempted to create it ourselves but found the expertise didn’t already exist within our crew," says the company. "As such, we looked at how else we could support this category of the drinks scene, which has so much potential.
“Hawkes’ approach to cider parallels our heritage with beer, and we see huge potential in the difference the business can make to a mass-market monopolised segment of the drinks scene. Cider has a massive opportunity to be so much more than a sweet, fizzy pint of something soulless.”
The value of the investment has not been disclosed. The team at Hawkes will stay in place, led by Wright, alongside contributions from BrewDog’s senior team.