Local brewers Stone & Wood have approached their business model with a ‘Force for Good’ strategy and today have announced that their Fermentum Family of Businesses, which is led by Stone & Wood will be sold to Lion.
The Fermentum Group is comprised of leading brands, including the flagship Stone & Wood, Two Birds, Fixation, Little Dragon and Sunly Seltzer. The deal is subject to regulatory approvals, the process for which has commenced.
The deal will see a new brewery built in Murwillumbah that will create local jobs a donation of $5 million to the inGrained Foundation for long term positive impact and another $1 million to Big Scrub Landcare Inc.
Lion Australia Managing Director James Brindley said, ‘We have huge respect for what Jamie Cook, Brad Rogers, Ross Jurisich and the team have created; great beer, wonderful brands, spiritual homes in their breweries and tap rooms, an inclusive culture and a commitment to the community.
‘We want to grow what they’ve started, giving their people and beers even more reach across the country,’ he said.
‘We have a shared vision of “Brewing as a Force for Good”. Lion is Australia’s first large-scale carbon neutral brewer and we will be backing the Stone & Wood, Two Birds and Fixation breweries to go carbon neutral as well. There are lot of areas where we can learn from each other.
‘The Fermentum business will continue to be a unique player in the drinks industry and we are excited about the opportunities for growth ahead.’
It has been confirmed with The Echo that everyone who is with Stone and Wood will be kept on.
Fermentum Co-Founder and Chairman Jamie Cook said the combination of timing and finding the right custodian to take the business forward made this the natural next step for Fermentum.
‘After an extensive strategic review exploring options to set us up for future growth, we decided to test the waters on whether now was the right time for the founding families to find a custodian to grow Fermentum’s legacy, its people, its culture and its brands, and continue to drive the business forward whilst staying true to its purpose.
‘We only looked for a custodian who would be committed to building the brewery and to support our work in the community. Not only did Lion welcome these ideas with enthusiasm, they demonstrated they have similar values and a focus on Environmental and Social Governance aligned to our “Force for Good” approach,’ said Cook.
‘Lion’s custodianship of Little Creatures, Four Pillars and New Belgium demonstrates they in fact learn from new businesses, and grow their impact and reach.’