Source: Heineken UK

Beavertown has gone from craft darling to mainstream success since Heineken bought a minority stake in 2018

Heineken has fully acquired craft brewer Beavertown, four years after it first bought a minority stake in the company.

The Dutch megabrewer revealed today it had purchased the remaining shares of Beavertown, taking full ownership of the brand.

It will see Beavertown’s founder Logan Plant – the son of Led Zeppelin star Robert Plant – step down as CEO. Heineken said he would be moving into a “new advisory role”.

He will be replaced at the helm by Jochen Van Esch, formerly Heineken’s craft development director. Van Esch will have the title managing director.

The business will continue to be run separately from Heineken out of its £40m brewery in Enfield, North London, dubbed ‘Beaverworld’, which opened in 2020. Heineken funded the development of the facility as part of the minority stake sale in 2018.

“Beavertown began in my kitchen, 10 years ago,” said Logan Plant. “From brewing in a rice pan to one of the most successful British brewers in recent years, employing over 160 people and brewing 360,000 hectolitres of beer.

“Its success is something I could never have predicted back then, and I am extremely proud that we have agreed the deal with Heineken UK which is the natural next step for Beavertown, its brands, and most importantly its people.”

Beavertown’s “journey will not see huge change because the strategy is right – the brand is in growth, it has a fantastic culture and work ethos and people love the beers”, added Van Esch. 

Indeed, Beavertown has gone from craft darling to mainstream supermarket dominance since the deal in 2018.

As The Grocer’s beer & cider category report revealed in April, its Neck Oil brew was the third-fastest growing product in craft beer over the year to 1 January 2022, with growth of 50.1%. Its Gamma Ray beer was up 20% over the same period [NielsenIQ].

Beavertown has unveiled a raft of new beers over 2022 so far, including its first gluten-free beer, Critical Mass (4.7%), and its first light lager, the 3.8% Sunlight.

It also made its debut in DTC, launching a ‘monthly Skullscription’ service in May through which it is selling 24-packs at a £5 discount off the usual retail price.