East 9th Brewing has acquired fellow independent brewing company Sample Brew for an undisclosed figure after the company was handed over to administrators in mid-May.
Sample Brew was founded in 2014 and is known for its core range of premium brews including Sample Pale Ale, Sample Gold Ale, Sample Lager, and the acclaimed Sample ¾ IPA. The brand is prolifically stocked across Australia in bottle, can and keg. East 9th Brewing was founded in 2010 and is home to one of Australia’s biggest selling alcoholic ginger beers, Lick Pier, and the iconic Doss Blockos Pale Lager.
In 2017, Sample announced plans to become Australia’s first beer company to raise funds with ‘crowd equity’. These plans were pulled due to reported outside investor interest, which ultimately fell through and led to the eventual voluntary administration of the company.
“It’s not an easy thing to create a sustainable beer business in Australia. Just because the category is experiencing great growth, doesn’t mean it directly correlates to an easy ride and great profitability for the companies that operate within that space”, said Josh Lefers of East 9th Brewing.
East 9th Brewing will be taking over the Sample portfolio immediately, along with re-employing a number of the Sample Sales Team (which were made redundant in the collapse). “The Sample brand was always one that we admired from afar…the previous team have done an amazing job building the brand over the last five years and we plan to continue to build on that”, say Benjamin Cairns of East 9th Brewing.
The acquisition by East 9th Brewing is the first of many planned moves the company will undertake in the near future. “East 9th Brewing has plans for a collection of hero partner venues to call home as well as an appetite for further acquisitions. In line with our vision to have Australia’s largest independent cross-category portfolio, we have an exciting NPD pipeline that extends on our current range of beer and near-beer products and will include some new huge growth areas such as craft wine,” says Stephen Wools of East 9th Brewing.