Heineken takes minority stake in London’s Beavertown Brewery
‘Beaverworld’ has been in planning for the last two years and the investment from Heineken will allow the project to go ahead, with the new facility due to be up and running by late 2019. The project will create 150 jobs.
Beavertown Brewery also hopes to open its own bars in the future, stocking both its own beers and those from other breweries.
'A huge leap to the next level'
Beavertown Brewery was launched six years ago by Logan Plant, the son of Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant. Its beers include Gamma Ray, Lupoloid, 8 Ball and Neck Oil.
“We are about to take a huge leap to the next level: moving from the current 45,000hl produced at our Tottenham Hale site to a big, beautiful 450,000hl brewery with enough capacity to get our beer on to every street corner in the UK and beyond,” said Logan.
The new brewery will be housed in a 125,000 sq ft unit on 6.5 acres of land, with a 7,000 sq ft internal visitor centre space.
Logan says the evolution of the craft beer movement requires brewers to evolve with it.
“Change has been a driver for not only Beavertown but all of us involved in the craft beer movement in the UK over the past 10 years or so. Change demands adaptation but in return opens up new realms to be explored and new roads to be walked down and Beavertown has never been afraid to adapt or take on any challenge in order to discover new possibilities.
"I’m geared and primed by not standing still, not missing the moment or sinking in stagnancy.”
The brewery initially considered crowdfunding or private equity for its expansion: but concluded that “crowdfunding for a £40m project wasn’t a realistic option; private equity would have created too much external pressure to hit the return on investment in a short period of time.”
Setting clear terms
Logan – who has previously criticised ‘bland, mass-produced beer’ – says he has used his scepticism of big beer to create clear lines regarding any investment in his brewery and emphasises that the ownership of the brewery has not changed.
He says Heineken’s investment in US craft brewery Lagunitas (Heineken took a 50% stake in 2015 before acquiring the remaining stake in 2017) has given him confidence in working with the Dutch brewery.
“I spoke at length to Lagunitas founder Tony Magee and have seen that Heineken gave him and his team the space and the right kind of support to crack on without impacting on how they do things as a brewery.
“That gives me confidence to partner with a family business that takes a long-term view and has continuously adapted and innovated for over the last 150 years. The beer market is changing fast and I think we can learn a lot from each other and take great beer to another level.”
Heineken also took a minority stake in London's Brixton Brewery last year.