AUSTRALIA – Brewing giant Carlton & United Breweries, a subsidiary of AB InBeV has acquired Australian wine company Riot Wine Co, for an undisclosed sum.
The deal marks Carlton & United Breweries’ entry into the wine category, expanding outside its key beer portfolio which includes Foster’s and Victoria Bitter and craft acquisitions Pirate Life and Four Pines.
Founded in 2016, Riot wine sells wine exclusively in kegs and cans and has significantly grown its wine concept by encouraging consumers to switch from bottles to aluminium cans and steel kegs.
Riot co-founder and general manager Joe Cook said: “We launched Riot Wine Co to start a wine revolution in Australia by getting venues and consumers to switch from bottles to steel kegs and aluminium cans.
“Wine drank this way is fresher and easier plus it’s more sustainable because one keg saves roughly 23,000 bottles from entering the environment.
“Our kegs prevent wine oxidising and our wine has a fun and fresh taste profile, with less sulphur making it cleaner than traditional wine.”
Carlton said it planned to invest further into the Riot business, by helping the company upgrade its cellar door and a new canning line in the inner western Adelaide suburb of Brompton. creating a revamped hospitality space with food and wine.
Rose Scott, CUB Sales VP for Australia and NZ, said: “We are committed to being the best beverage company in Australia and expanding our portfolio to meet the evolving needs of Australian drinkers. Riot Wine Co will help us do that.
“Riot Wine Co’s rapid expansion in just three years shows venues and retailers agree that it can deliver great things for consumers.
“We plan to accelerate the expansion of this growing business through our large on-tap network and more than 100 years of draught experience.”
Under the agreement, Riot’s management would stay on to run the business, which has a big ”sustainability” focus.
“The Riot Wine Co team won’t change and management will stay on to ensure the elements that have helped drive the business’ success – a focus on quality wine from grape to glass, disruption and innovation, and the quality of its people and outstanding customer relationships – remain in place,” Scott added.
Riot was originally established by Joe Cook and Tom O’Donnell.