Lion has announced it’s investing in Four Pillars Gin, taking a 50% stake in the award-winning distillery.
The foray by Lion into spirits comes as the gin sector booms globally. Gin overall is growing at more than 16% annually in Australia, while local gin is growing at double that rate.
Four Pillars was established by Stuart Gregor, Cameron Mackenzie and Matt Jones in 2013, and has gone on to become an award-winning craft gin brand enjoyed by people around the world.
Four Pillars said the investment in its Healesville-based distillery by Lion will allow the founders to follow their dream of building the world’s leading craft gin brand.
“The partnership with Lion really is a ripper for us,” said Four Pillars co-founder Stuart Gregor.
“It would not be untrue to say that more than a few organisations have shown an interest in us over the past 18 months and Lion just felt the best. We like their focus on craft, we like the fact we will be their first and most important craft spirit brand, and we like the fact that part of the deal is a slab of Furphy every month for the rest of our lives.
“We have a terrific relationship with the senior management at Lion and reckon this is the start of a really
exciting new chapter for our business.”
Lion Managing Director James Brindley said: “The partnership with Four Pillars is really exciting for Lion, as we venture into new categories outside our core beer business.
“What Matt, Cam and Stu have done in creating Four Pillars in just over five years is nothing short of remarkable and we want them to keep their hands on the wheel, while we offer advice, counsel and assistance.”
Brindley (above) will join the Four Pillars board as part of the deal, with the three founders retaining management control.
Vanguard Luxury Brands has been Four Pillars’ domestic distributor since 2013, and will continue to sell Four Pillars to bars, retailers, restaurants and pubs across Australia.
Pictured main: Four Pillars Gin founders Cameron Mackenzie, Matt Jones and Stuart Gregor.