By Phongnguyen1410 [CC BY-SA 4.0] via Wikimedia Commons
An almost 300-year-old family-run British cider maker is the newest independent drinks company to be snatched up by a brewing giant.
It was confirmed on Sunday morning that the US drinks giant behind Cobra Beer and Carling, Molson Coors, has acquired Suffolk’s Aspall for an amount that is yet undisclosed.
The deal happens after a year of what Barry Chevallier Guild, the chairman of Aspall, described as “close discussions.” According to previous reports, other bidders had also expressed interest in the company.
“Molson Coors is known for respecting the provenance of local brands it has acquired in the past and has the scale and expertise to accelerate our growth in the premium cider category in the UK and beyond,” said Guild.
In 2011, Molson Coors acquired the maker of popular cask ale Doombar, Cornwall brewery Sharps, in a deal that is worth £20m.
“We’re delighted to add Aspall to the Molson Coors portfolio,” stated Phil Whitehead, the Molson Coors managing director for the UK and Ireland.
“Both companies share a similar history that is deeply rooted in family, dedication to customers and a commitment to excellence. The Chevallier’s have been producing cyder for almost 300-years, and their range of brands enhances our existing portfolio. We’re now looking forward to helping Aspall become the number one premium cider in the UK and building on the huge potential of the Aspall vinegar, as part of a need to premiumise our portfolio.”
The cider of Aspall and its range of vinegar will still be made in Suffolk where it has 127 employees. The members of the Chevalier family, the eighth generation since Aspall was established, will continue to remain in the business.
Sales of cider in the United Kingdom hit a three-year high of £1bn last year.