Founders First doubles craft beer distribution

Founders First told the ASX today that it has doubled the number of stores nationally which stock its beer from its group of breweries, saying the deal will put the group in a “very strong position to deliver significant growth”.

The craft accelerator and hospitality business, which made its debut on the ASX last year, said that it had secured more than 2,000 new “pack beer distribution points” across major liquor retailers.

Founders First portfolio company beers will be stocked in more bottle shops nationwide following the deals with Coles, owners of Liquorland, First Choice and Vintage Cellars, as well as Woolworths-owned Dan Murphy’s and BWS.

Jetty Road’s XPA, Ballistic’s Hawaiian Haze, Slipstream’s Pale Ale, Sparkke’s Red Ale, and Sauce Brewing Co.’s Peach Berliner Weisse and Pale Ale will be available in stores from August. Hawaiian Haze and Slipstream’s Pale Ale will also come in 16 packs.

Founders First has been on the offensive targeting off-premise sales during the COVID-pandemic after it was forced to shut venues in its burgeoning hospitality arm.

It launched a 16-pack of mixed portfolio beers with Coles in May and today joined The Good Beer Co to team up for a mixed 16-pack carton available in 1,000 BWS and Dan Murphy’s stores.

The group said that the ranging will be complemented by a “significant increase” in marketing and brand investment in 2021 to maximise sales growth and brand awareness amongst customers.

Founders First CEO Mark Haysman said that securing more channels for its products was a “significant validation of the company’s model of accelerating growth.”

“Quality distribution is the leading indicator of future sales.

“These results reflect both the quality of our portfolio of craft beer products and the unique capability that the FFL sales team (Indie Craft Collective) brings to the table.

“We expect distribution gains to be balanced across all channels once the outcomes in the Independent channel and On-premise are finalised. We are very pleased with the outcome and excited for our brands.

“Founders First has the balance sheet and capability to invest behind these brands which otherwise would not be possible for craft players on their own.”

It has also been working on its Partnership Programme which has signed on key venues and made “valuable tap beer gains”.

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