The pubs and hotels arm of boutique investment manager Duxton has acquired Adelaide-based brewery and tap room Little Bang Brewing as part of its first move into the beverage production space.
Best known for acquiring pubs and hotels in South Australia including the Lion Hotel in the Adelaide CBD, the Cremorne Hotel in inner-Adelaide and The Old Noarlunga Hotel in the city’s outer suburbs, Duxton Pubs has now tapped into the craft brewing market with the Little Bang buy.
Though the price was undisclosed, Duxton Pubs - a subsidiary of investment manager Duxton, which primarily focuses agriculture and water assets, including ASX-listed Duxton Water (ASX: D2O) — said it hoped the deal would take the locally beloved craft brewery to wider markets, all the while “fiercely” protecting the brand’s independence.
“It means the Little Bang team can grow through our reach in the hospitality space, while continuing to brew the amazing beers they are known for,” Duxton Pubs Group co-founder Ed Peter said.
“We’re super excited to work with them on growing the Little Bang brand – which will still continue to be available in existing hotels and bottle shops, as well as a host of new ones both within South Australia and nationally.”
Founded in 2013 by Ryan Davidson and Filip Kemp, Little Bang Brewery has grown from an operation running out of Kemp’s garage to become one of the many South Australian craft beer success stories.
The company now operates a taproom and restaurant in Stepney, Adelaide, and boasts an eclectic and ever-expanding range of beers that draw upon pop-cultural references and video game aesthetics.
Little Bang’s range includes the recently-launched ‘Critical Hit’ (a daily dry hopped double IPA), ‘Colorado Weed Money’ (an oat cream pale), Undercover Fashion Police (a New England IPA) and an alcohol-free pale ale called ‘Spacer’.
Co-founder Davidson said South Australia-based Duxton Pubs was a “perfect fit” for Little Bang, bringing together experts in their associated fields.
“We’ve wanted to expand our business for some time, and we were lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time for this opportunity to present itself, and we couldn't be happier with the result,” Davidson said.
“As a small-medium craft brewery, normally your only options are to stay small and keep overheads and risks low or sell-out to a multinational – we’ve found a perfect alternative – it’s more than we dared hope for.
“This will give Little Bang access to knowledge and resources it’s never had before, while maintaining autonomy and the ability to shape the future together – it’s going to be huge.”
As part of the acquisition, The Uraidla Brewery former founding head brewer Oscar Matthews will join the merged group and take on an executive role within the brewery.
“We've spent years working closely with pubs owned by Oscar throughout his time in the brewing industry and at Uraidla Brewery. We have an enormous respect for what they do and the businesses they've created,” Davidson said.
Oscar said he wanted to reassure Little Bang’s loyal fans that they can expect it to continue as it always has, serving up beers from the Stepney taproom and in pubs and bottle shops across the country.
“We see big opportunity with the Stepney based tap room and we can safely say there will be more awesome beers to come, all building on Little Bang’s unique and creative identity,” Oscar said.
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