The company which operates the O’Hara’s craft beer range is targeting annual revenue growth of 25% on the back of extending its reach into the cider market via the acquisition of Wicklow company Craigies Cider.
It marks the first time the Carlow Brewing Company — which makes a stout and three beer varieties under the O’Hara’s brand, as well as the Falling Apple cider brand — has acquired a rival company.
The Craigies deal will allow Carlow/O’Hara’s to extend its product range and make its own cider. Currently Falling Apple is made by the Armagh Cider Company.
Carlow Brewing chief executive Seamus O’Hara said the company hopes to add new cider products over the next 12 months.
Craigies owns the Ballyhook Flyer and Dalliance cider brands, which sell both domestically and overseas.
Mr. O’Hara said he expected to see more consolidation amongst the craft beer community in Ireland, but urged the Government to lend more support.
He said the move to reduce excise duty for small breweries has helped the craft beer sector, but a different model is needed for cider makers and needs to be introduced.
He also said the Craft Beer Bill, if passed, will allow cider makers to sell their products on their premises.
O’Hara’s has been looking to extend its cider presence for some time and had been in talks with Craigies for a number of months.
Craigies has also been working on a number of new cider products, which should come to market relatively soon.
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