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Heineken tops up on Beavertown to take full control of London brewer

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Beer giant Heineken has taken full control of Beavertown, the North London craft beer business, after investing £40m in a minority stake in 2018.  (Handout)
Beer giant Heineken has taken full control of Beavertown, the North London craft beer business, after investing £40m in a minority stake in 2018. (Handout)

Beer giant Heineken will take full control of London-based craft brewer Beavertown Brewery in a deal that will see Logan Plant step down from the brand he set up a decade ago.

The Dutch brewing giant bought a minority share in Beavertown, whose beers include Gamma Ray and Neck Oil, for £40m in 2018, and since then has invested in developing a new brewery in North London.

Beavertown, which was set up by Plant in Haggerston in 2012, will now be run by Heineken UK’s Jochen Van Esch as its managing director, with Plant in an advisory role.

Heineken said Beavertown would continue to be operated separately, retaining its own brewing, sales and marketing teams.

The deal echoes previous acquisitions of small brewers by global majors, including the 2015 sale of London’s Meantime Brewing Company to SAB Miller, and Camden Town Brewery’s sale in the same year to Budweiser brewer AB InBev.

Van Esch, who has been with Heineken for 20 years, said he had worked with Plant and his team for five years, in which time the new brewery in Enfield had been built and its first pub opened in Tottenham.

The Enfield brewery produces 90 million pints a year, a drastic increase from its humble beginnings.

“Beavertown began in my kitchen 10 years ago,” Plant said.

“It’s grown 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.

“It’s success is something I could never have predicted back then.”

Heineken added that the new ownership structure could lead to 50 new jobs being created.

It said that the purchase amount for the remaining shares would not be disclosed.