Pacific Beverages, the joint venture between SABMiller and Coca-Cola Amatil, has acquired a brewer in Australia.

The unit confirmed today (5 December) that it has bought Bluetongue Brewery in the country for an undisclosed sum, with a view to upping its presence in the Australian premium beer market. Bluetongue's assets have been valued by Pacific at around A$14m (US$12.3m).

"The Australian premium beer market is growing strongly year-on-year," said Ari Mervis, managing director of SABMiller Asia. "Pacific Beverages is well placed to capitalise on this trend and our expertise in premium brand management together with CCA's distribution strength means that we can accelerate the development of the Bluetongue brands and grow our share of the premium beer market in Australia."

Established in 2003, Bluetongue operates from a brewery near Newcastle, New South Wales with an annual capacity of around 50,000 hectolitres. Its beer brands include Bluetongue Premium Lager, Bluetongue Premium Light, Bluetongue Traditional Pilsner, Bluetongue Alcoholic Ginger Beer and Bondi Blonde. In the year to November, Pacific noted, Bluetongue has delivered sales growth of over 70%.

Set up in August last year, Pacific Beverages sells and distributes SABMiller's international premium brands, while also handling the distribution of the Maxxium spirit portfolio.