Online craft beer retailer Beer Cartel and its gifting subsidiary, Brewquets, has been acquired by Just Wines, indicating a continued diversification strategy following the recent acquisitions of Sans Drinks and Liquor Loot.

Beer Cartel first started in 2009, and according to co-Founder Richard Kelsey, it has served more than 100,000 customers over the past 15 years.

“We started our e-commerce beer business before Dan Murphy’s was online, before people were buying online in large numbers, and before craft beer was a real thing. That is something I’m really proud of.

“We’ve partnered with a huge number of Australian breweries over the years and have had a large number of staff that have worked in the business over the years, many of which have become brewers or taken another role in the industry. It’s been a privilege to have been involved in such a vibrant and supportive industry,” Kelsey said.

Just Wines Founder Nitesh Bhatia said that the success and popularity of Beer Cartel made the business an appealing asset.

“We recognise the success Beer Cartel has had within the online craft beer space, over the past 15 years. It has been an industry leader, as evident from winning Beer and Brewers’ Best Online Retailer award five times, and the numerous other awards the business picked up. We’re excited to be the new custodian of the brand and see the success of the business going forward. We’ll be welcoming its diverse craft beer product range, including its very popular Beer Advent Calendar.”

Just Wines has diversified its portfolio into other drinks categories, purchasing craft spirits subscription service Liquor Loot in April and non-alcoholic drink producer and retailer Sans Drinks in August last year.

Bhatia explained the appeal of the craft beer sector for Just Wines.

“As we look to grow ourselves, we want to work with a more diverse base of customers, not just limit ourselves to wine as a category. Diversifying into the craft beer market allows us to tap into a different segment of the alcoholic beverage industry. This helps mitigate risks associated with being reliant on a single product category and expands our customer base,” he said.

Just Wine’s diverse portfolio is particularly beneficial for Brewquets, as Bhatia explained.

“Brewquets can be a one-stop gifting shop for all occasions, whether it be a birthday, Christmas or client gift. Utilising our range from each business unit, we are excited by the depth of product range we will be able to offer,” he said.

Bhatia is not planning to make any major changes to the Beer Cartel or Brewquets businesses.

“We don’t want to revolutionise these two highly successful businesses. We’ll simply be looking at how we can integrate our key capabilities into these great organisations to grow the customer base for each. We want to acknowledge the founders, Geoff and Richard, as well as the fantastic suppliers and customers that have been with the two businesses over the past 15 years. We look forward to deepening these relationships over the coming years,” he said.

Kelsey also aims to continue providing the quality service that consumers expect from Beer Cartel.

“From our perspective it’s all about ensuring the same levels of service, quality and range are maintained as we pass the reins onto Just Wines,” he said.

“Beer Cartel has been our lifeblood for the last 15 years and we want to ensure that it is around for a long time further, leading the way in the Australian craft beer scene.”

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