Halewood Wines & Spirits, the UK-based family-owned drinks business, is entering the brewing industry by taking a controlling interest in Hawkshead Brewery, the independent brewer based in the Lake District, of Northern England. Hawkshead Brewery currently produces around 120 barrels (20,000 litres) of beer a week, delivering widely throughout the North. It also operates a bar at the brewery site.
Under the partnership, Hawkshead will build a new brewery, expand production and gain new routes to market. The specific terms of the deal have not yet been disclosed.
Alex Brodie, founder of Hawkshead Brewery, comments: “Demand for our beers exceeds our ability to supply. We have gone about as far as we can on our own. This partnership with Halewood will allow us to grow and fulfil our potential.”
“I am convinced that Halewood share our values,” he adds. “We have had a long negotiation and I believe that this deal gives Hawkshead a way of getting significant investment without being absorbed into ‘big beer.’ Halewood sees small, craft and premium as the future. And they are Northern. I like that.”
Stewart Hainsworth, chief executive of Halewood Group, says: “Hawkshead Brewery will continue to operate independently of the Halewood Group, under Alex’s leadership, with Halewood as its main distributor and investor. Hawkshead brews great beers. We are delighted to help them carry on doing what they are so passionate about.”
Alex Brodie will continue as managing director, and Hawkshead’s existing team will carry on running the brewery as a stand-alone business, within a small group of North West craft drinks-makers, under the Halewood umbrella. The group includes another Lakeland company, mineral water producer – Willow Water, Liverpool Gin distillery and North Wales whisky distillery, Aber Falls, which is due to open later this year.