Kent-based Curious Brewery has rescued the Wild Beer Co brand from administration, in a deal which will double production at its Ashford brewery.

Curious, which was created by carving out the beer business of English winemaker Chapel Down in 2021, announced this week it had reached an agreement to add Wild Beer Co to its specialist portfolio of premium beers.

The acquisition will double the size of the existing Curious operation, which has a current production capacity of five million pints per year and potential to expand upwards of 15 million pints per year.

Wild Beer Co fell into administration in December, after struggling to recover from the pressures of Covid while battling rising costs.

The company, which raised almost £1.8m on Crowdcube in 2017, hired Undebt as administrators on 2 December, which pledged to try to find a buyer for the business.

Commenting on the acquisition, Curious Brewery chairman Mark Crowther said: “We are delighted to be collaborating with some of the original team from Wild Beer Co to maintain the original innovative and creative spirit of that business.

“The Wild Beer Co acquisition brings a lot of positives including high-quality beers and distinctive brands, impressive distribution in both the on and off-trade, as well as a significant direct-to-consumer e-commerce operation.

“This new chapter for Wild Beer Co will bring some stability, placing the business on a sure footing. For Curious, this is an important step in our journey to become one of the UK’s leading brewers of specialist, premium beer and ciders.”

As part of the deal, Curious Brewery intends to honour the subscriptions and regular discounts available to current members of Wild Beer Co’s Secret Cellar Club and previous crowdfunding shareholders.

Following the transaction, Wild Beer Co’s portfolio – led by flagship Wild IPA – will sit alongside Curious’ premium English lager, Curious Brew, which is brewed with champagne yeast, and its Curious Session IPA and Curious Apple cider.

As well as listings in hotels, bars and restaurants, the beers of the enlarged business are sold in Waitrose, Sainsbury’s and Majestic, as well as Harrods and venues such as The Royal Opera House.

Curious Brewery was acquired in April 2021 from Chapel Down by a team led by Crowther and backed by Risk Capital Partners, the private equity firm led by Luke Johnson.

Prior to the change of ownership, a new multimillion-pound freehold brewery was built in 2019 opposite Ashford International train station, which includes a visitor centre, tap room and a 120-cover bar-restaurant.