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Molson Coors investing in craft beers in Cork

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Molson Coors investing in craft beers in Cork

Molson Coors investing in craft beers in Cork
January 15
16:04 2013

Molson Coors UK & Ireland has bought the Franciscan Well craft beer brand and microbrewery in Cork City and is developing a new craft brewery, also in Cork.

These investments are central to Molson Coors Ireland’s plans to build a strong share in the burgeoning craft beer market as well as a significant Irish craft-beer export business to international markets.

Retail sales of craft beer in Ireland are expected to grow from €24m now to €235m in 2017.

Molson Coors UK & Ireland’s Emerging Markets & Craft Beer division is managing the two Cork initiatives.

Headed by Niall Phelan, it brings together its Scottish and Irish businesses alongside its portfolio of domestically produced and leading international craft beers.

“In 2012 alone, the craft beer market grew 13pc in the UK and 100pc in Ireland. For Molson Coors, our investment in Franciscan Well and Cork is our latest strategic acquisition and complements our commitment to Sharp’s and William Worthington’s,” said Phelan.

Molson Coors’ Irish craft brewery operations will be chaired by one of Franciscan Well Brewery’s founders, Shane Long. Long, who is also chairman of the Irish Craft Brewers Association, will continue to run the existing and planned new brewery in Cork.

The Franciscan Well Brewery was established in 1998 on a site in Cork City dating back 800 years to 1219. Molson Coors Ireland will expand Franciscan Well’s existing range of brands and its overall annual brewing capacity in Cork from 4,000 kegs up to 150,000 kegs per annum.

While the existing brewery will remain, the additional capacity will be on a new site in Cork which is expected to be operational later this year.

The objective will be to export more than half of the expanded Franciscan Well Brewery’s output to markets such as the UK, Canada and the US, where there is strong interest in Irish craft beers and whiskeys.

Franciscan Well’s five existing employees will join Molson Coors while the expanded brewing operations will create at least 10 additional new jobs in Cork. This will increase Molson Coors Ireland’s headcount by 15 people, bringing it to 70 since it was established in 2009.

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