Coors is aiming to export Franciscan Wells beers overseas

Coors is aiming to export Franciscan Wells' beers overseas

Molson Coors has acquired microbrewer Franciscan Well and will boost its capacity by building a new brewery in Ireland.

The company's UK & Ireland division said today (14 January) that it has bought the 14-year-old, Cork-based brewpub, its onsite brewery and beer brands for an undisclosed sum. The move represents the first piece of business involving Molson Coor's new “emerging markets & craft beer unit”, set up to oversee its interests in the sub-category in the UK & Ireland.

Molson Coors will expand Franciscan Well's range of beers and its brewing capacity by building a new separate site in Cork. Franscisan Well's brewing capacity will rise from 2,000 hectolitres to 75,000 hectolitres per year as a result of the new site, the company said. 

More than half of the expanded output will be exported, with markets such as the UK, Canada and the US being targeted. 

Franciscan Well’s five current employees will join Coors, while the expanded brewing operations will create at least ten new jobs, the company said.

“These investments are central to Molson Coors Ireland’s plans to build a strong share in the burgeoning craft beer market as well as a significant Irish craft-beer export business to international markets,” Molson Coors said. 

Its Irish craft brewery operations will be chaired by one of Franciscan Well Brewery’s founders, Shane Long. Long, who is also the chairman of the Irish Craft Brewers Association, will continue to run the existing and planned new brewery in Cork.

Molson Coors UK & Ireland’s Emerging Markets & Craft Beer division is headed by Niall Phelan. It brings together its Scottish and Irish businesses alongside its portfolio of domestically-produced and international craft beer brands. 

Earlier today, Molson Coors announced plans to launch its first cider in the UK in March.

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