Lion (Australasian company)

Lion is an alcoholic beverage company that operates in Australia and New Zealand, and a subsidiary of Japanese beverage conglomerate Kirin. It produces and markets a range of beer and cider in Australia, and wine in New Zealand and the United States through Distinguished Vineyards & Wine Partners. It acts as distributors for a range of spirits in New Zealand, but does not own any distilleries outright, although holding a 50% share of Four Pillars Gin in Victoria.

Founded1923; 99 years ago (1923) New Zealand Breweries
1977; 45 years ago (1977) Lion Breweries
1988; 34 years ago (1988) Lion Nathan
2009; 13 years ago (2009) Lion Nathan National Foods
HeadquartersSydney, New South Wales, Australia
Key people
Rod Eddington AO (Chairman)
Stuart Irvine (CEO)[1]
ProductsBeer, wine, cider
OwnerMitsubishi keiretsu (through Kirin Holdings)
SubsidiariesSouth Australian Brewing Company
James Boag Brewing
Hahn Brewing Company
James Squire Brewery
Little Creatures Brewery

Lion was formed in October 2009 under the name Lion Nathan National Foods when Kirin Holdings Company Limited purchased brewer Lion Nathan and merged the business with National Foods, which it had owned since 2007. In 2011, the company changed its name to Lion, one company with three businesses: Lion Beer, Spirits, and Wine Australia; Lion, Beer, Spirits and Wine NZ; with National Foods becoming a Melbourne-based subsidiary called Lion Dairy & Drinks. Lion Dairy & Drinks was acquired by Bega in November 2020.

As of 2020 the Australian arm of the company is registered in Sydney as Lion-Beer Spirits & Wine Pty Ltd, a body corporate with multiple business names registered to it, including the Lion Nathan Australia, South Australian Brewing Company, James Boag Brewing, Byron Bay Brewery, Hahn Brewing Company, James Squire Brewery, Castlemaine, Little Creatures Brewery, and others.

Lion New Zealand is the largest alcoholic beverage company in the country, employing 1000 people. The company markets beers such as Speight's, Steinlager, Mac's, Emerson's, Stella Artois and Corona, big names in spirits such as Smirnoff, Baileys, Bacardi, and Johnnie Walker, and many wines.

The company owns a number of breweries and contract bottling plants in Australia and New Zealand. The Thebarton brewery in Adelaide operated by the South Australian Brewing Company is sometimes referred to as the West End Brewery (for other uses of this name, see West End Brewery).

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