The deal follows Marston’s £55m acquisition of Charles Wells back in May 2017, which saw the brewer secure a one-year deal for the distribution rights of the Founders portfolio of over 40 beers, alongside other leading brands.
In the past 12 months, Marston’s has increased sales of Founders All Day IPA by 274%, with the beer now being stocked in more than 400 pubs and supermarkets in the UK, across draught, bottled and canned.
Established in 1997, Founders, based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, has risen to become the 16th largest brewery in America. In December 2014, Mahou San Miguel acquired a 30% stake in the brewery for an undisclosed sum.
Marston’s head of commercial marketing John Clements said: “We’re incredibly proud to renew our contract with Founders and very much look forward to our continued adventure together. We’re thrilled that the Founders philosophy and premium-tasting portfolio is really starting to take effect here in the UK.
“We’re working with numerous independent operators, craft beer bars and the likes of Young’s, Castle Pub Company and Morrisons to name just a few. When I think about All Day IPA in particular, it really is all about the beer – it’s that good, we simply say to operators ‘just take the lid off and take a sip’.”
Distribution with key retailers
Founders vice-president of exports Brian May added: “We built Founders on an attitude of 'no regrets' – an attitude of taking risks to bring the best beer possible to our fellow renegades and rebels.
“We’re not just a brewery, we’re a family, consisting of a group of passionate beer enthusiasts that take what we do seriously – but don’t take ourselves too seriously. In short, we make beer for people like us. We’re incredibly humbled by how much Founders has grown here in the US and we hope to replicate that success here in the UK by driving distribution in key retailers that are as passionate about great beer as we are.
“We hire for personality, passion and skill and Marston’s hugely mirrors these values. They’re a highly respected brewer and operator, and we’re excited about this next chapter in our relationship, which will see us bring our passion for brewing to a UK audience – it’s going to be great fun!”