Stone and Wood, Two Birds and Fixation Breweries Have All Just Been Bought by Beer Giant Lion
Lion has purchased the Fermentum Group of breweries, which also includes Little Dragon and Sunly Seltzer.
As Australia's drinks scene has boomed, so has a hardly surprising side effect, with more than a few independently owned breweries and distilleries getting snapped up by the big end of town. In fact, the latest development in this space sees not one, not two, but five indie names make the move to a beer behemoth — with Lion purchasing the Fermentum Group, which includes Stone and Wood, Two Birds, Fixation, Little Dragon and Sunly Seltzer.
The sale sees the Byron Bay-based Stone and Wood, Melbourne labels Two Birds and Fixation, boozy ginger beer brand Little Dragon and hard seltzer Sunly Seltzer all join Lion's sizeable alcohol stable. Owned by Japan's Kirin Holdings, Lion also boasts beer labels such as James Squire, Little Creatures, Furphy, White Rabbit, Hahn, Tooheys, James Boag's, Malt Shovel, Eumundi and XXXX to its name — and, since 2019, 50 percent of Healesville-based gin distillery Four Pillars as well.
Announcing the news on its website, Lion said that it has "huge respect for what Jamie Cook, Brad Rogers, Ross Jurisich and the team have created; great beer, wonderful brands, spiritual homes in their breweries and tap rooms, an inclusive culture and a commitment to the community. We want to grow what they've started, giving their people and beers even more reach across the country."
In their own statement, the Stone and Wood trio of Cook, Rogers and Jurisich said that "earlier this year, we realised that we were approaching a major milestone in the development of Stone and Wood where we knew it was time to build a new brewery. After many months of working through how we were going to begin the next chapter in our story, the founding families decided it might be time to see if there was a custodian for the business who could grow the legacy, its people, its culture, its brands, and continue to drive the business whilst staying true to its purpose."
Part of the sale will see Lion support Stone and Wood, Two Birds and Fixation to go carbon neutral, and to also continue Fermentum's plans to build a new brewery in Murwillumbah.
The deal comes nine months after Fermentum bought Two Birds' brewery, tap room and brands, as announced back in January.
At the time of writing, the sale of Fermentum to Lion is still subject to regulatory approvals.
Published on September 15, 2021 by Sarah Ward