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Spanish Brewer Enters Irish Craft Beer Sector

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Spanish Brewer Enters Irish Craft Beer Sector

Spanish Brewer Enters Irish Craft Beer Sector
April 24
09:19 2017

Hijos de Rivera, the Spanish family-owned business, has purchased a 32% stake in Carlow Brewing Company, the independent Irish craft brewer. The founders will retain their controlling majority shareholding and leadership of Carlow Brewing Company and the investment will enable the company to offer a return on investment to its original group of minority shareholders as well as benefit from Hijos de Rivera’s well-established distribution channels and networks, aiding the development of new and existing export markets.

Based in Galicia in Northern Spain, Hijos de Rivera currently holds 6% of the Spanish beer market, and is most well known for its Estrella Galicia beer brand and Maeloc cider brand. Carlow Brewing Company first developed a relationship with the company when it became its Spanish distributor two years ago, and over the last 24 months the two companies’ shared visions, family heritage, and dedication to producing quality beers paved the way for the investment which was officially agreed in early April The investment is further evidence of the strength and potential of the Irish craft beer sector.

Seamus O’Hara, chief executive and founder of Carlow Brewing Company.

Seamus O’Hara, chief executive and founder of Carlow Brewing Company, comments: “Carlow Brewing Company was established in 1996,and we  have been lucky enough to be at the forefront of craft brewing in Ireland for over twenty years. Our growth in recent years has given us the opportunity to offer a return to investors who have been a huge support to our business from the start. It has not been easy to get to this point. We have overcome a lot of challenges and obstacles along the way but some remain. The opportunity to work with Hijos de Rivera, a progressive, family owned and independent brewery with a long tradition of brewing under the Estrella Galicia brand made the most sense for us due to a shared sense of value, heritage and culture.”

Ignacio Rivera, chief executive of the Galician brewery, comments: “Our goal isn’t to sell the most beer but to sell the beer that is most loved and valued by the consumer, and that’s why Carlow Brewing Company and Hijos de Rivera are a perfect fit as both companies are passionate about beer! I am really looking forward to working with Seamus and his team.”

Carlow Brewing Company, which has been in existence for over 20 years, is Ireland’s leading craft beer producer and has had significant success exporting, as well as selling domestically. This has been driven principally by the O’Hara’s® Irish Craft Beer brand, (which includes stouts, wheat beers, ales and lagers) and more recently by the Falling Apple® and Craigies cider brands.


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