Coopers Brewery is all set to extend its reach as the largest supplier of home brew kits and supplies on a global level. In news hot off the press, it has been revealed that the family owned company has taken over the US home brewing chain Mr Beer.
Based in Tucson, Arizona the Mr Beer is the largest of its kind in the US, distributing home brew starter kits, concentrates and accessories to consumers through more than 14,000 stores across America as well through their on-line sales outlet.
Already the largest worldwide supplier – distributing to more than 20 countries – the buy out will make Coopers the largest supplier of home brew paraphernalia in the US, a massive market coup for the South Australia-based company.
According to Scott Harris, Coopers’ Marketing Manager Brewing Products, the multi-million dollar purchase was the first major international acquisition by Coopers in nearly 30 years, making it a significant milestone as the company celebrates its 150th year.
Interestingly, though they have decided to keep the Mr Beer brand active, Harris says that the American consumers can expect some changes, though subtle, in the products they are buying.
“We will replace the current malt extracts with a superior quality all-malt concentrate produced at Coopers with a yeast specifically designed for their size kit,” he say. “This will remove the need for a sugar adjunct and will significantly improve the quality of beer that is produced.”
While Coopers’ DIY Beer kits are based on a 23 litre micro fermenter and 1.7 kilogram cans of concentrate, the Mr Beer kits are based on a two galleon (or 8 litre) version.
“The smaller 8-litre Mr Beer kits are very popular with American consumers and retailers. We won’t be changing things there, but we expect there will be some opportunity for cross distribution in the future,” Harris says.
This new venture is expected to be almost immediately profitable due to the nature of the American market. In 2011 alone, Mr Beer sold more than 200,000 home brew starter kits, with demand growing at a rate of 10 per cent a year for the last 10 years.
Existing Mr Beer staff will be retained and the starter kits will continue to be sourced from American suppliers.