There is no time for rest for Fermentum with the announcement of plans to expand their brewery and the acquisition of Australia’s first female owned brewing company, Two Birds Brewing Co.
“We continue to be constrained by our production capacity at our Murwillumbah brewery as once again we didn’t get through the Christmas peak without having to allocate stock,” said Jamie Cook, co-founder of Fermentum.
“The exciting addition of the Two Birds business which has been funded from cash reserves will provide further potential growth in volume, earnings and opportunities for the team.
“We have a strong balance sheet and are well placed to look at other opportunities that fit with our strategy, however the brewery expansion project is now a major focus for us,” he said.
All key brands in the Fermentum stable enjoyed growth this past year. Notably, the business’ largest brand, Stone & Wood Original Pacific Ale, continued its sustained growth despite the arrival of other brands in the summer ale segment.
Two Birds Brewing Co joins Stone & Wood Brewing Co, Fixation Brewing Co, Forest for the Trees, Granite Belt Cider Co, Sunrise Drinks and Square Keg in the Fermentum family of businesses.
Fermentum has acquired Two Birds’ brewery, tap room and brands and its two co-founders, Jayne Lewis and Danielle Allen, will continue to drive it as a distinct business unit within Fermentum.
Now, with a brewery in Melbourne, Fermentum can move production of Fixation products closer to its priority market and meet the company’s on-going growth in the short term.
Major brewery expansion ahead for Fermentum
The planned expansion of the brewery at Murwillumbah will see Fermentum shift sites down the road to develop a facility on a 34,000 sqm block purchased four years ago.
Fermentum intend to build a large-scale brewery capable of producing an annual volume of 40 million litres, expandable over time to around 80 million litres.
To fund the process, all options are being explored from cash reserves, debt, capital raising to a potential IPO. Given the regional investment and employment opportunities that would eventuate from the grand-scale development, Fermentum will also explore opportunities for government partnership and investment.
The first stage of construction will incorporate relocation, building out the site and infrastructure and installing a new 200hl brewhouse and packaging lines, o the tune of around $50 million.
Acquisition of Two Birds Brewing
The acquisition is a shot in the arm for Two Birds Brewing and affords Fermentum’s the opportunity to address its capacity constraints for now.
Danielle Allen, Co-founder of Two Birds said: “For Two Birds to continue striving towards our vision, we realised we needed to join forces with another business for an injection of broader knowledge and experience, some much needed capital and a spark of energy.”
Cook said: “We have admired what Jayne and Danielle have achieved since they launched their fledgling business in 2011. They have a unique origin story and by blazing a trail for diversity they have provided an inspiration for everyone in our industry as it strives to develop and embrace diversity and inclusion at a level which is a true reflection of our society.
“Jayne’s ability to develop and brew award winning beers and Danielle’s capability and tenacity in building the brand and gaining a foothold in the marketplace has seen them create a successful and respected brewing business from the ground up,” he said.
Two Birds’ products will be sold through Square Keg in Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania and by the Stone & Wood team in Queensland and New South Wales.