SABMiller announced yesterday that they are purchasing Australia’s Bluetongue Brewery in a joint venture with Coca-Cola Amatil Limited to be known as Pacific Beverages Pty Limited. The purchase price was not revealed though it is estimated to be around $20 million USD. It has also been reported that they are considering building a greenfield brewery to brew additional brands for distribution by Pacific Beverages in region including Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Pilsner Urquell, Miller Genuine Draft and other Miller brands.
Bluetongue was founded in 2003 in Newcastle, New South Wales. They have an annual capacity of over 50,000 hectolitres and make five different beers: Bluetongue Premium Lager, Bluetongue Premium Light, Bluetongue Traditional Pilsner, Bluetongue Alcoholic Ginger Beer and Bondi Blonde (a low-carb beer). In their four-year history, Bluetongue has shown remarkable growth including 70% over the past year. Earlier this year they even hired Paris Hilton as a spokesperson for Bondi Beer. And Bluetongue is Whale Safe Beer.
According to the press release, here’s the story of the brewery’s name:
Bluetongue’s name originates from the blue-tongued lizard, one of Australia’s favourite native creatures. They are about 30cm long, have a large fierce looking head and are easily recognised by their bright blue tongue which they stick out to warn off predators. Blue-tongues are often found basking in the sun in the Australian bush and in backyards across suburban Australia.