No longer the eternal hoptimist, Coca-Cola is finally calling last drinks on the Australian beer and cider market.
Following its decision last October to place WA's Feral Brewing up for sale, Coca-Cola Europacific Partners Australia (CCEP) has now agreed to sell its interest in Australian Beer Co. (ABCo) to joint venture partner Casella Family Brands (CFB) for an undisclosed sum.
Based in Yenda, NSW, CFB is Australia’s largest family-owned wine company with a stable of brands including Yellow Tail, Casella Family Wines, Peter Lehmann Wines, Brand’s Laira, Morris of Rutherglen, Baileys of Glenrowan and The Magic Box Wine Collection.
The original joint venture, which will be fully owned by the Casellas from 1 July 2022, owns such brands as Pressman’s Original Australian Cider and Yenda Pale Ale.
“ABCo is an exciting business led by a state-of-the-art brewery, and we welcomed the opportunity to acquire full ownership,” CFB managing director John Casella said.
“We will endeavour to maintain the excellent relationships the CCEP team has established with customers in the beer and cider category in Australia.
"We have enjoyed partnering with CCEP to grow ABCo’s business, and we both leave the joint venture arrangement on excellent terms. We genuinely wish them the very best for the future."
CFB was founded in 1969 by Filippo and Maria Casella, who settled in Yenda after moving from Italy to Australia in 1957.
Coca Cola's decision to exit came after CCEP concluded that achieving scale in beer and cider would require significant investment in its core business.
Following 2021’s strategic review of CCEP’s interests in Australia, the company decided to toast goodbye to beer and cider and focus instead on spirits and the alcohol and non-alcohol ready-to-drink portfolios.
“With CCEP’s exit from the Australian beer and apple cider categories in Australia, the decision to sell our interest in ABCo was the natural next step,” VP and GM of CCEP Australia, Peter West, said.
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