Molson Coors acquires Irish craft brewery

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The North American-based Molson Coors Brewing Company through its Molson Coors UK & Ireland has acquired the Franciscan Well craft beer brand and micro-brewery in Cork City, Ireland, for an undisclosed sum.

The company is also planning to develop a new 75,000HL (150,000 keg) craft brewery in Cork city.

The investments form part of Molson Coors Ireland’s plans to improve the brewery’s share in the growing craft beer market and Irish craft-beer export business.

Molson Coors UK & Ireland Emerging Markets & Craft Beer division director Niall Phelan said in 2012 alone, the craft beer market grew 13% in the UK and 100% in Ireland.

“For Molson Coors, our investment in Franciscan Well and Cork is our latest strategic acquisition and complements our commitment to Sharp’s and William Worthington’s,” Niall Phelan added.

Molson Coors UK & Ireland’s new Emerging Markets & Craft Beer division consists of its Scottish and Irish businesses including Sharp’s Brewery in Cornwall and William Worthington’s Micro Brewery in Burton-upon-Trent.

The Franciscan Well Brewery founder Shane Long said, “Now, as part of a global brewer that understands and respects the craft beer movement, we have a big opportunity to build an international brand and business that we just could not have achieved on our own.”

Established in 1998, the Franciscan Well Brewery beers include Shandon Export Stout, Friar Weisse, Blarney Blonde, Rebel Red, Rebel Lager and Whiskey Aged Stout, which was brewed in partnership with Jameson Whiskey.