In it’s recent Annual Report 2020 Danish brewer Carlsberg disclosed they have acquired the brand rights for American craft brewing giant Brooklyn Brewery across their Asian markets.
These rights, the report maintains, were brought for USD130 million in June 2020 and covers their Europe and Asia markets.
This move is inline with their innovation & premiumisation drive outlined in their SAIL ‘22 initiative in which they announced they are “well-placed to capture the premium category growth in Asia and will invest accordingly”.
SAIL ’22 specifically targets Asia as a key contributor to the group’s top and bottom-line growth, with premiumisation a key element. Consequently a significant proportion of their SAIL’22 investments are allocated to the region.
Carlsberg initially took over distribution of Brooklyn Brewery in Scandinavia in 2004, significantly boosting sales for the US craft brewer.
Various partnerships between the two brewers followed including the establishment of joint venture breweries in Sweden, Norway and the United Kingdom.
In 2017 the partners launched HK Yau, a new premium brand for the Hong Kong market.
In the Annual Report 2020 Carlsberg noted “we have developed a close cooperation with this great New York craft brewer. In 2020, we further strengthened the collaboration when we acquired the rights to the Brooklyn brand in our markets. The deal will reduce complexity and increase profitability, supporting future growth of the brand.”
Brooklyn Brewery was founded in 1987 by former English teacher and international journalist Steve Hindy and his neighbour Tom Potter, a former lending officer at New York’s Chemical Bank. The brewery became one of the pioneers of the US craft beer movement.
In 2016 24.5% of shareholding was sold to Japan’s Kirin Holdings, ensuring the brewery maintained it’s ‘craft’ status as outlined by the Brewers Association where less than 25% of the craft brewery can be owned or controlled by an alcoholic beverage industry member who is not themselves a craft brewer.