The 290-year-old family-run Aspall Cyder company has been taken over by the trans-Atlantic brewing giant Molson-Coors.
The cider company was founded at Aspall Hall, near Debenham, in 1728 by Clement Chevallier and is run by the eighth generation of his family who will continue to be part of the business, which employs 127.
Aspall Cyder was already 58 years old by the time John Molson founded his Canadian brewery and its cider apple orchards were 145 years old by the time Coors was founded in Colorado. Molson Cours owns four breweries in the UK, but this is its first cider maker.
A joint statement from the companies says: “Aspall is an established premium brand of quality and provenance.
“The company’s high-quality portfolio strengthens Molson Coors’ position in a fast-growing market for premium cider in the UK.
“Aspall also produces leading speciality vinegars, including Aspall Organic Cyder Vinegar, which is made using a fermentation process that is the only one of its kind.”
“Through its industry-leading expertise in marketing, distribution and logistics, Molson Coors is ideally positioned to grow the business in the UK and establish a leading presence for the Aspall brand in key markets.”
Molson Coors says it will be investing in Aspall’s Suffolk operation.
Phil Whitehead, Molson Coors’ UK and Ireland managing director, said: “Both companies share a similar history that is deeply rooted in family, dedication to customers and a commitment to excellence.
“We’re now looking forward to helping Aspall become the number one premium cyder in the UK and building on the huge potential of the Aspall vinegars.”
Barry Chevallier Guild, Aspall chairman, said: “Having been in close discussions with Molson Coors for over a year, we were delighted to find that they share our rich heritage, passion for making quality cyder and vision for the future development of Aspall and its people.
“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.”
Aspall’s cider sales grew by 10 per cent in 2016.