Hop Stuff Brewery sold to Molson Coors

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Looking back: Hop Stuff Brewery announced it was expanding its Taproom business in 2017
Looking back: Hop Stuff Brewery announced it was expanding its Taproom business in 2017
Beer giant Molson Coors has bought south-east based Hop Stuff Brewery and its Taprooms as part of a pre-packaged administration process for an undisclosed fee.

Hop Stuff founder James Yeomans who will remain with the business, started the company in 2013 with the aim of making quality craft beer accessible for everyone.

He posted on the brewery’s blog page, explaining how the business had been suffering some financial difficultly recently.

In February 2018, Hop Stuff broke its crowdfunding investment target,​ after successfully raising almost £800,000 to go towards the expansion of its network of taprooms.

The blog post said: “Dear investors, friends and ambassadors. As you know Hop Stuff Brewery has been experiencing financial difficulties in the recent months.

“Unfortunately, due to the cash position of the business weighing heavily on the business, Hop Stuff Brewery Limited and each of its subsidiaries entered into administration on Friday 12 July with the appointment of Neil Gostelow and Will Wright of KPMG as Joint Administrators."

It added: “I’m pleased to say that we were able to secure an asset sale to Molson Coors Brewing Company as part of a pre-packaged administration process, which includes our brewery, brand and taprooms and the transfer of all staff to Molson Coors.

“Due to our financial position, this was the best possible option for our people and the future of our beers, or we faced the whole business going into liquidation.

“Unfortunately, a full sale of the shareholding of the company was commercially unviable and so I truly regret to have to confirm that there will be no returns to investors.”

So sorry

The post went on to apologise for the sale and lauded the support beer drinkers had given Hop Stuff over the years.

It added: “I am so sorry. I wanted so much to turn the passion you have for Hop Stuff Brewery into a financial win for you and I am absolutely gutted that hasn’t happened.

“I want to thank you so much for your belief in us. You have helped to build this business and I want to make sure that you continue to feel a part of it.

"For my part, I am absolutely committed to protecting the ethos of Hop Stuff and our brands and I am completely confident that Molson Coors share that commitment.

“In Molson Coors we’ve found a partner who believes wholeheartedly that craft beer should be accessible, inclusive and of exceptionally high and consistent quality. With their support and guidance, we are going to be able to start brewing again and be able to supply our customers in London. Hop Stuff beers won’t disappear.”

The blog went on to outline how original investors can continue to be involved in Hop Stuff should they wish to.

Part of the journey

It said: “I would completely understand if you wanted to wash your hands of us, but I very much hope that you don’t.

“If you’d like to remain a part of our journey, together with Molson Coors, we will be launching a Hop Stuff Collective for original investors who would like to stay involved.

“Members of the Collective will receive exclusive access to key events throughout the year, a product subscription, discounts and be invited to be part of new product development through quarterly tastings and innovation sessions at the brewery.

“While not the hoped-for outcome, I hope you agree the Hop Stuff Collective will be a tribute to the important role you have played in our business and a unique opportunity to help us build on that legacy.”

Molson Coors has bought the brand and assets of the business and all staff have been transferred from Hop Stuff.

Marketing director at Molson Coors, Jim Shearer said: "We recognised in the Hop Stuff team a real shared value and ethos on craft beer – that it must be accessible, inclusive and of exceptionally high and consistent quality.

"When we found out the company was under threat, after spending time with James and tasting these exceptional beers, we felt Hop Stuff’s beers and the ethos Yeomans had started were too good not to exist.

“The brand and asset purchase of Hop Stuff is one more step we’re taking to premiumise our portfolio, while preserving the authenticity and provenance of much-loved brands.

"Our track record with Sharp’s, Franciscan Well, and most recently Aspall Cyder, is testament to the care we take with these craft brands."

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