Northern Ireland

Newry craft brewery bought by US firm Alltech

A craft brewery in Newry, County Down, has been bought by the Irish entrepreneur Pearse Lyons, who owns the US-based firm Alltech.

Alltech's main business is animal nutrition but it is also developing a brewing and distilling division.

It has bought the Station Works brewery from the Haughey family, better known as the owners of Norbrook Laboratories.

The deal includes the Cumberland Breweries at Great Corby in the north of England.

'Big moment'

Alltech produces craft beers at its US facility in Kentucky and said this deal will give it a platform for expansion in Europe.

Dr Lyons' first job was with Harp Lager, in his native Dundalk, just across the Irish border from Newry.

He described the purchase as "a kind of homecoming for me, as well as a big moment for the beverage side of the company and for craft brewing in Britain and Ireland".

The Station Works brewery began operation in 2013 on a site behind Newry train station.

It brews Finn lager and Foxes Rock pale ale. It also houses a bottling and canning facility.

'Growth industry'

A spokesperson for Norbrook said: "We are delighted that the company will continue as a trading business under its new ownership, as a key player in the craft brewing industry.

"We will be working closely with the new owners and staff to ensure business continuity throughout the transition process."

Craft brewing has been a growth industry in across the UK and Ireland in recent years.

According to the Campaign for Real Ale, there are now 22 independent brewing companies in Northern Ireland - the vast majority of which have opened in the last three years.

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