UK pub giant Marston’s has made a distribution deal with an American craft brewer as it looks to corner a growing market for independent beer.
Marston’s, which owns chains such as Pitcher & Piano and Two For One, will be hoping that the five-year deal with Founders Brewing Company will help the firm recover from a spell of poor sales caused by bad weather earlier in the year.
America’s 16th largest brewery has already been a lucrative source of profit for Marston’s in the last 12 months, with sales in Founders' All Day IPA increasing 274 per cent.
Marston’s first gained distribution rights to Founders’ craft beer after acquiring real ale producer Charles Wells for £55m last year.
However, several months of snow and cold earlier this year, dubbed the "Beast from the East", caused Marston’s an "unavoidable disruption to the business".
The pub heavyweight suffered a like-for-like sales drop of 0.9 per cent in March and eventually fell out of the FTSE 250 last month.
Brian May, vice president of exports at Founders Brewing Company, said: "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."
John Clements, head of commercial marketing at Marston’s, said: "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 Morrison’s to name just a few."