Montreal, Que. – Molson Coors has acquired the Franciscan Well craft beer brand and microbrewery in Cork City, Ireland, through its subsidiary Molson Coors UK & Ireland.
The company also announced it will build a new craft brewery in Cork to accommodate increased production of the Franciscan Well range of beer brands to 150,000-keg per year, from its current 4,000 kegs per year. More than half of this expanded capacity will be exported to markets such as Canada, the U.S. and the U.K.
The new brewery will be operational by the end of the year.
The acquisition and expansion is the first development under Molson Coors’ Emerging Markets & Craft Beer unit. Molson Coors estimates that the market for craft beer will grow from roughly $31.4 million in annual sales to $307.9 million by 2017 in Ireland.
The Franciscan Well Brewery produces Shandon Export Stout, Friar Weisse, Blarney Blonde, Rebel Red and Rebel Lager. The brewer also recently partnered with Jameson Irish Whiskey to produce a limited-edition Whiskey Aged Stout.