Home Burgers and Beer Learn the interesting history of the Asian beer Lion

Learn the interesting history of the Asian beer Lion

A subsidiary of the Japanese beverage giant Kirin, Lion is a business that sells alcoholic beverages in Australia and New Zealand. Through Distinguished Vineyards & Wine Partners, it manufactures and distributes a variety of beers and ciders in Australia as well as wine in New Zealand and the US. Although it holds a 50% stake in Four Pillars Gin in Victoria, it does not directly own any distilleries; rather, it serves as the distributor for a variety of spirits in New Zealand.

When Kirin Holdings Company Limited bought brewer Lion Nathan and combined it with National Foods, which it had held since 2007, the result was the creation of Lion in October 2009 under the name Lion Nathan National Foods. Lion, a single corporation with three businesses—Lion Beer, Spirits and Wine Australia; Lion Beer, Spirits and Wine NZ; and National Foods becoming a Melbourne-based subsidiary called Lion Dairy & Drinks—was chosen as the new name for the firm in 2011. Bega purchased Lion Dairy & Drinks in November 2020.

A body corporate with several registered business names, including the Lion Nathan Australia, South Australian Brewing Company, James Boag Brewing, Byron Bay Brewing, Hahn Brewing Company, James Squire Brewing, Castlemaine, Little Creatures Brewery, and others, the Australian division of the company is listed as Lion-Beer Spirits & Wine Pty Ltd in Sydney as of 2020.

With 1,000 employees, Lion New Zealand is the biggest alcoholic beverage firm in the nation. The establishment offers a selection of wines in addition to well-known alcoholic beverages such as Speight’s, Steinlager, Mac’s, Emerson’s, Stella Artois, and Corona, as well as prominent spirits like Smirnoff, Baileys, Bacardi, and Johnnie Walker.

In Australia and New Zealand, the business has a variety of breweries and contract bottling facilities. Sometimes referred to as the West End Brewery (for other uses of this name, see West End Brewery), the Thebarton Brewery in Adelaide is run by the South Australian Brewing Company.

History

Lion Beer Bottle

Antecedents

Brown Campbell & Co., the business founded by Logan Campbell and William Brown and responsible for the establishment of Auckland’s Hobson Bridge Brewery in 1840, served as the company’s first progenitor. It was the biggest brewery on the North Island, if not the entire nation, by 1897. Brown Campbell & Co. and Louis Ehrenfried’s Albert Brewery, which he had acquired in 1878, merged to establish Campbell and Ehrenfried in May 1897. The nephew of Ehrenfried, Arthur Myers, oversaw the new business. In 1914, the Great Northern Brewery, which controlled the Lion brand, and Campbell and Ehrenfried combined. Ten breweries merged to establish New Zealand Breweries in 1923. Although its breweries were merged into New Zealand Breweries, Campbell and Ehrenfried remained a separate business. In 1965, Douglas Myers, Arthur Myers’ grandson, was named CEO of Campbell and Ehrenfried.

In 1977, New Zealand Breweries’ northern business took on the moniker Lion Breweries. In 1981, Campbell and Ehrenfried acquired 19.9% of Lion Breweries. New Zealand Breweries had grown to be one of the biggest businesses in New Zealand by the late 1980s. To create Lion Nathan, which is traded on both the Australian and New Zealand stock markets under the name LNN, Lion Breweries acquired LD Nathan & Co, formerly known as Woolworths NZ and New Zealand’s largest store, in 1988. The Farmers Trading Company acquired ownership of Woolworths’ general merchandise sector in 1992, the same year it was renamed DEKA. It built a significant foothold in Australia and acquired managerial control of Bond Corporation’s brewing assets, including the Tooheys Brewery in Sydney and the Castlemaine Perkins in Brisbane, in 1990, turning it into an Australasian company. The majority of Douglas Myers’ 16 percent stake in Lion Nathan was sold to the Japanese Kirin Brewery Company in 1998.

Foundation

2005 saw a takeover attempt by Lion Nathan for the independent Coopers Brewery in South Australia. Despite the adamant opposition of Coopers’ management, the buyout was rejected in an Extraordinary General Meeting when 93.4% of the shareholders voted to permanently remove Lion Nathan’s “3rd tier purchasing rights,” effectively preventing any takeover proposals in the future or at present. Shareholders approved a full takeover by Kirin Holdings in a referendum in September 2009.

When Kirin acquired the brewer Lion Nathan and merged the company with National Foods, which it had owned since 2007, Lion was created in October 2009 under the name Lion Nathan National Foods. Kirin held 46% of the business; Australian and New Zealand share funds made up the difference.

2010s

Lion, a single corporation with three businesses—Lion Beer, Spirits and Wine Australia; Lion Beer, Spirits and Wine NZ; and National Foods becoming a Melbourne-based subsidiary called Lion Dairy & Drinks—was chosen as the new name for the firm in 2011. Bega purchased Lion Dairy & Drinks in November 2020.

To allow customers to enjoy draught beer at home, the firm introduced the Tap King draught beer product in June 2013. According to reports, Lionel Richie earned A$1.5 million to take part in the advertising campaign for the gadget when he appeared in a television ad to promote it. Due to the alleged impact on bars and restaurants serving alcohol, the establishment of the Tap King generated debate. A larger incentive for customers to drink beer at home has sparked concerns about decreasing patronage rates for establishments.

Present

As of 2020, the Australian division of the business is listed in Sydney as Lion-Beer Spirits & Wine Pty Ltd, a body corporate with several registered business names, including the Lion Nathan Australia, South Australian Brewing Company, James Boag Brewing, Byron Bay Brewing, Hahn Brewing Company, James Squire Brewing, Castlemaine, Little Creatures Brewery, and others. 

With 1,000 employees, Lion New Zealand is the biggest alcoholic beverage firm in the nation. The business sells a variety of wines as well as popular spirits including Smirnoff, Baileys, Bacardi, and Johnnie Walker, as well as beers such as Speight’s, Steinlager, Mac’s, Emerson’s, Stella Artois, and Corona.

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