The craft beverage division of Australian food and drink company Lion, which is owned by Japan’s Kirin, has acquired the renowned Bell’s Brewery.
Lion is not new to the U.S. craft beer scene having purchased New Belgium Brewing in November of 2019. Bell’s is the 16th-largest overall brewer in America by sales volume and will now be combined with New Belgium, the 11th-largest, to form a “new American craft beer leader,” though both will retain their brands and beers. Combined, the two breweries equal about the size of Boston Beer Company.
Bells’ was founded in 1985 and has become a craft beer industry icon, in part due to the outspoken and respected Larry Bell. This author can remember with fondness the “bathtub parties” in Larry’s hotel suite during early Craft Beer Conferences in which the bathtub was full of craft beers from around the country and the socializing carried on until very late hours.
Larry also announced that he will be retiring.
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