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Carlsberg plans to buy UK craft brewery

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Carlsberg will buy a UK craft brewery to bolster its growing portfolio of smaller brands with an artisan British beer, The Morning Advertiser can reveal.

The UK arm of the Danish beer giant could be ready to announce a UK craft brewery acquisition later this year or early next year, according to chief executive Julian Momen in this exclusive podcast.

He said: “What we know is that international craft is absolutely what you need to have, we also know that we need to have a local craft brand.

“Local craft in the UK is actually growing faster than international craft and it doesn’t exist in our portfolio right now.”

Finding the right one

A whole range of options were being assessed at the moment, but the CEO refused to reveal any specific details about the potential purchase.

“There’s lots out there, so finding the right one in the right location and making sure it fits with our existing portfolio is quite important, so we’re going through that process at the moment,” he added.

“I would say the process might take us through to the end of the year, or it might lead into early next year. There’s no rush about it, we’ve got to make sure it’s the right one.”

Carlsberg would continue to focus on smaller brands, added Momen, noting that, although its mainstream lager accounted for a large proportion of sales, the category was in decline.

The company was in its “early days” of craft, Momen admitted and added there were plans to continue to grow its portfolio of craft beers with the right products in the future.

Carlsberg had recently acquired the UK rights to sell Brooklyn Lager in the UK, which Momen said had helped the company talk to customers about its craft portfolio.

‘Credentials in the craft space’

“That gives us some credentials in the craft space, it’s allowed us to talk about some of the other craft brands we’ve had for a while but haven’t been able to push,” he said.

Read The Big Interview with Momen in an upcoming issued of The Morning Advertiser to find out what he has in store for Carlsberg in the future.

Meanwhile, find out why big brands are really thinking small at this year’s Future Trends: Beer and Cider event in London on 26 June.

See the full agenda for the day-long event that will deep dive into the beer and cider trends of the future by clicking here.

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