Belfast Telegraph

Irish craft beer brand Franciscan Well intends to double output in five years

Shane Long of Franciscan Well
Shane Long of Franciscan Well

By Michael Cogley

Franciscan Well, one of Ireland's largest craft beer brands, intends on doubling its output to more than 200,000 kegs in the next five years, its founder has said.

The business, which was sold to drinks giant Molson Coors in 2012, has invested more than €3m in a brewery in Co Cork with a further investment of just under €1m to come.

Founder Shane Long said that its aim was to achieve "sustainable growth in a tough market". The company has just launched its new beer 'Pilgrims'.

"We want to go to several more countries. Coors are very strong in Eastern Europe so I'd imagine we'll go there. They've acquired a brewery in Italy and in Spain so I would imagine we'll be following there because there is a route to market," he said.

"We went from the equivalent of 7,000 kegs when I was independent in my best year to last year which would have been 90,000 kegs.

"A fifth is coming from the UK and growing rapidly."

Mr Long, who now works as an adviser to Molson on the Franciscan Well brand, said that he was "living the dream" following the sale of his business seven years ago.

"It's a very ambitious plan. That brewery we have has the ability to do 200,000 kegs, but it requires further investment, which they're doing in the form of a canning line and they've invested €3m into it already," he said.

"If the growth keeps going the way it is we'll see that in five years, but anything can change. When we took over the warehouse it was 50,000 sq ft and we thought that we would never fill it but now I think we will."

Belfast Telegraph