Carling owner buys Aspall cider

THE owner of Carling lager and fruit cider brand Rekorderlig has bought eighth generation Suffolk cider maker Aspall for an undisclosed sum.

Barry and Henry Chevallier Guild of Aspall cider.

Molson Coors snapped up the family firm, which was founded in 1728 by Clement Chevallier and still operates from Aspall Hall in Suffolk, as it seeks to extend and premiumise its cider portfolio.

The brewing giant said it aims to grow the Aspall brand at home and abroad by investing in its Suffolk operation and further developing the brand’s premium cider and vinegar products. Members of the Chevallier family will remain part of the business and “play a key role in shaping the strategic direction of Aspall”.

Barry Chevallier Guild, Aspall chairman, said the firm had been in discussions with Molson Coors for over a year, and described the deal as “an important milestone in Aspall’s long history”.

“Molson Coors is known for respecting the provenance of local brands it has acquired in the past, and has the scale and expertise to accelerate our growth in the premium cider category in the UK and beyond,” he said.

“There is a real opportunity to elevate and grow the status of English cider in the UK and abroad both as a beverage and as an excellent partner for food.”

Phil Whitehead, managing director of Molson Coors UK & Ireland, said the acquisition of Aspall’s brands “enhances our existing portfolio”.

“We’re now looking forward to helping Aspall become the number one premium cider in the UK and building on the huge potential of the Aspall vinegars, as part of an ongoing strategy to premiumise our portfolio,” he said.

Going forward, Aspall will operate as part of Molson Coors UK & Ireland and will continue to press, ferment, keg and bottle at the Cyder House in Aspall, Suffolk.

Molson Coors’ acquisition of Aspall comes after it bought Rekorderlig UK from Manchester-based Chilli Marketing brands in 2015.