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New Belgium Brewing Acquired By Kirin-Owned Lion Little World Beverages

New Belgium Brewing Acquired By Kirin-Owned Lion Little World Beverages

New Belgium Brewing Co. in Fort Collins, Colorado has been acquired by a Kirin subsidiary called Lion Little World Beverages. According to the Brewers Association, New Belgium was the 4th-largest craft brewery in the country last year.

The full release regarding this news is below.


  • Lion Little World Beverages to acquire New Belgium Brewing, one of the leading independent craft breweries in the U.S. with a commitment to invest in innovation and capability that fuels future growth of its brands in the U.S. and global markets.
  • This partnership establishes an expanded presence for Lion Little World Beverages in the U.S. market, advancing Lion’s global craft beverage strategy. 
  • Both companies share a purpose-driven culture with a focus on sustainability and inclusion, with Lion Little World Beverages committed to continuing New Belgium’s “force for good” mission.

Lion Little World Beverages, the global craft beverages business of Australasian brewer, Lion and New Belgium Brewing today announced that the companies have signed a definitive agreement for Lion Little World Beverages to acquire 100% of New Belgium in an all cash transaction. The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2019, pending approvals by regulators and the Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) in addition to other customary closing conditions. 

New Belgium is a pioneer of world-class beer and wood-aged sours in the United States.  Since the company was established in 1991, it has grown to become a leading craft brewer with adored brands, such as Fat Tire Amber Ale and Voodoo Ranger IPA, in addition to two state-of-the-art brewing facilities in Fort Collins, Colorado and Asheville, North Carolina, and a national distribution platform.

"We’re excited to welcome New Belgium Brewing into our global family of craft beverage brands. Since meeting the New Belgium team, we’ve been incredibly impressed not just with their commitment to world-class beer and the way they bring their brands to life, but their purpose-led business model and connection to the community – all values we share at Lion,” said Matt Tapper, Managing Director of Lion Little World Beverages.

“Our owner, Kirin, has entrusted Lion with leading its global craft beer strategy and today’s announcement is a real milestone for us. Over time, we see a great opportunity to work together with New Belgium Brewing to grow a wider portfolio of craft beverages in the U.S., and build on the great business that Kim, Steve and the entire New Belgium team have created.”

Kim Jordan, Co-Founder of New Belgium Brewing said: “If there are three things we’re known for at New Belgium, it’s our dedication to innovation and excellence in beer, our commitment to the culture and wellbeing of our co-workers, and our crazy enthusiasm for being a business role model. We were thinking about these three things as we began to explore being a part of the Little World family.”

“We’ve been pushing the boundaries of beer innovation as pioneers for almost three decades. Little World are brewers’ brewers and we have really felt their commitment to this ancient craft. We’re absolutely excited about helping to build a collective of breweries – each with their own vibe – who share the same commitment to delighting beer drinkers with great beer, great businesses, and great collaboration among us.”

Lion Little World Beverages is committed to protecting and nurturing New Belgium’s unique identity, culture and brand as a leader in craft beer. New Belgium Brewing headquarters will remain in Fort Collins, Colorado and Steve Fechheimer will continue as Chief Executive Officer with the management team remaining in place. Kim Jordan will remain deeply involved with the company, and also play a key advisory role in collaborating alongside other leading founders within the Lion Little World Beverages network ensuring the core tenets of craft beverages are aligned with the strategic vision for Lion Little World Beverages in the U.S. and around the world.

About Lion and Lion Little World Beverages

Lion Little World Beverages is the global craft beverages business of Lion - a leading brewer headquartered in Australia owned by Kirin Holdings Company Limited. With nearly 4,000 people employed across Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Asia and the U.S. Lion is a leader in craft brewing. Its portfolio includes many well-known brands such as James Squire, Little Creatures, Emerson’s, and Panhead. 

Lion Little World Beverages was first established as ‘Lion Global Markets’ in 2015 and entrusted with leading Kirin’s global craft beer strategy in new market expansion outside Japan, Australia and New Zealand. It has since evolved, launching pioneering Australian craft brand Little Creatures in the U.S., UK and Asia between 2017 and 2019, and recently adding UK craft brands Fourpure and Magic Rock to the family.  

The Lion Little World Beverages team blends Lion’s 170 years of history with Kirin’s commitment to quality, craftsmanship and R&D expertise to create a collective of like-minded entrepreneurs who are empowered to keep doing what they do best, while benefitting from being part of a larger, scaled business. A common cultural thread binds Lion Little World Beverage’s brands and people together, with a commitment to craftsmanship, community and sustainability at the core.

www.lionco.com /about-us/our-business/lion-little-world-beverages

About New Belgium Brewing

New Belgium Brewing is a nationally distributed brewery recognized as a leader in sustainability and social responsibility. Founded in 1991 in Fort Collins, Colorado, the company expanded to Asheville, North Carolina, in 2016 and Denver, Colorado, in 2018, and is now the fourth largest craft brewery in the U.S. Dedicated to proving that business can be a force for good, New Belgium is a Certified B-Corp and was the first brewery to join 1% for the Planet. The brewery has donated over $26 million to charitable causes since 1991. 

New Belgium is famous for its flagship beer, Fat Tire Amber Ale, along with year-round favorites like Voodoo Ranger IPA, Mural Agua Fresca Cerveza, and La Folie Sour Brown Ale as well as an award-winning wood-aged sour program and innovative limited release beers. To learn more about the full product line-up and New Belgium’s Human powered Business model, visit NewBelgium.com