‘Huge day for us’: Asahi Beverages buys Adelaide’s Never Never Distilling Co

‘Huge day for us’: Asahi Beverages buys Adelaide’s Never Never Distilling Co

Never Never Distilling Co founders (L-R) George Georgiadis, Sean Baxter and Tim Boast. Photo via Never Never Distilling Co LinkedIn.

Adelaide-based Never Never Distilling Co, an award-winning gin producer with a distillery in the McLaren Vale region, has been bought by Japanese drinks giant Asahi Beverages in a buyout that the founders vow will not change the product.

While details of the deal have not been disclosed, a LinkedIn post by founders Sean Baxter, Tim Boast and George Georgiadis reveals that all three will be staying on with the company under the stewardship of Asahi.

“We’re incredibly proud, emotional and excited to announce we’re now part of the Asahi Beverages family,” the founders say in a joint statement via LinkedIn.

“This is a huge day for us. It’s a day which allows us the opportunities to finally take Never Never and build it into the brand we have always dreamed of.”

Never Never joins 10 spirit brands in the Asahi stable, including Vodka Cruiser, Woodstock Bourbon and Highland Scotch whiskey. It also joins the company’s only other gin product, the ready-to-drink Mist Wood Gin brand which Asahi launched in 2016 – the same year that the Adelaide entrepreneurs established Never Never Distilling Co.

“We didn’t start Never Never to be small,” say the founders.

“That’s somewhat ironic given we started in a 16sqm space in a shed with no running water. It was always our ambition to build a spirit brand that competed with some of the biggest in the world, we just thought it might take a while.

“Every big brand starts with one or two people with aspirations of greatness, with a passion and commitment to quality flavour.

“From the days of selling gin to local bars from the boot of Tim’s old beat-up Magna, to exporting our products around the world, working with Asahi Beverages will continue to grow our distribution networks across the country and reach new brand fans in every corner.”

Never Never Gin has won multiple awards in recent years culminating in Master Distiller of the Year for Tim Boast at the World Gin Awards in 2022.

“While this is a game changer for our brand, outside of the support it provides, this won’t change the core of the business,” say the founders.

“Rest assured the founder team will be working hard to continue to achieve the success that has got us to this point.

“Tim will keep making – what we think – is the world’s best liquid (no pressure Tim). Our production methods won’t change.

“Sean will keep working closely with the best bars around the country.”

Georgiadis, the managing director of Never Never Distilling, also will continue to oversee the business post-acquisition.

Never Never Distilling Co says the rest of the team will be staying on following the Asahi Beverages buyout allowing them to “grow securely within the business”.

Never Never’s gin products include Triple Juniper and Oyster Shell, which Asahi says is admired by “bartenders and gin-lovers alike” who have “embraced the flavour concentration, innovation and obsession with quality” – features that Asahi says distinguish the company from other brands in Australia’s $3.8 billion premium spirits segment.

“We are acquiring Never Never because we recognise Never Never’s incredible brand and success,” says Asahi Beverages group CEO Amanda Sellers.

“Combining Asahi’s reach with Never Never’s amazing portfolio, extensive spirits knowledge and capability will enhance the value proposition for our customers.”

Asahi plans to distribute Never Never products through its Carlton & United Breweries alcohol division.

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