Wednesday, 1 December 2021

Garden Brewery Building New Premises, Planning Asian Expansion

December the 1st, 2021 - The much loved Garden Brewery is ready to construct a brand new, larger facility and plan their expansion to the distant Asian market.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, with an Advent programme they organised for the month of December, the Croatian craft brewery Garden Brewery is saying goodbye to the facility where they've brewed beer and hosted many events in the first five years of their business.

They're also building a new, significantly larger brewery in Zagreb's Zitnjak area, which will enable them to triple their production and become the largest craft brewery in the region and one of the leading ones in all of Europe, as well as strengthen their exports with the expansion to the Asian market.

The completion and relocation of their production facilities and the Zagreb Brewery to a brand new location is expected by the end of the first quarter of 2022, with installed capacities of 35,000 hectolitres and significantly increased capacity of the retail location.

Zagreb Brewery Director Tom O’Hara explained that with constant growth, the craft brewery has simply outgrown its current location. “In the last two years, our production team has done a really great job because we've had to exceed our capacities, but even that wasn't enough. This year, due to insufficient capacity, we had to give up work, missing out on an additional 30 percent of traffic. There were times when I had to tell the sales team not to actively sell anything. It was an unsustainable situation that needed to be addressed. We've considered several options for continuing to expand at our current location, but we've come to the conclusion that we need to start from scratch,'' explained O’Hara.

Although the continuation of monetary expansion and consequent inflationary pressures, along with the bursting of supply chains, marked the third quarter of this year, in 2021, Garden Brewery continued to record record growth in both revenue and operating profit.

The report for the first 9 months of 2021 states that The Garden Brewery Group, consisting of The Bird (brewery), Yellow Submarine (burgers) and Lula (festival business), generated total revenue of 89 million kuna (twice as much as in 2020) with an operating profit of 16.2 million kuna.

The growth of the craft beer segment stood at an impressive 51.24 percent, and thanks to the completion of the digitisation process, they had 27.8 million kuna in revenue from online sales. According to the Group's report, the aforementioned investment will enable a further step into foreign markets and the possibility of negotiating significantly larger contracts. Garden Brewery's expansion will be financed by a combination of their own funds and favourable credit indebtedness. They don't want to reveal the amount of the investment yet.

“We're building a facility that will, we hope, stand the test of time for the next ten years. We're also investing a lot in our production and sales space, primarily to create a craft brewery that will stand out as one of the best in Europe. Our sales space will provide a user experience that will be completely unique for this region and it will also be a great advertisement for Zagreb,'' O’Hara revealed.

In terms of size, Garden Brewery is still a mid-range craft brewery, but after expansion they want to be the largest craft brewery in the region of Southern, Central and Eastern Europe, and in the upper rank of craft breweries in Europe, where they have already established themselves as one of the important players in this blossoming business.

Capacity expansion also creates new opportunities for exports, and Garden Brewery currently exports to over 30 different markets. In Asia, they currently sell to China, Malaysia and the Emirates. The Croatian domestic market accounts for close to 30 percent of their revenue, which they plan to maintain next year, which means additional growth.

“Our strategy for Asia for next year is to grow these markets with the opening of additional ones such as Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Vietnam, South Korea and India. Depending on the pandemic, we hope to move in that direction. Although these are remote markets and sometimes they present a logistical challenge for sales, we believe we've only scratched the surface of what we're capable of there,'' concluded O’Hara.

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Friday, 20 August 2021

Zagreb Garden Brewery Produces First Non-Alcoholic Craft IPA in Region

August the 20th, 2021 - The well known Zagreb Garden Brewery has created the very first non-alcoholic IPA beer in Croatia and Croatia's immediate region.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, the Zagreb Garden Brewery will soon be offering natural, vegan and non-alcoholic beers as part of their expansion of the range of their basic and specialty beers. The first edition is the DDH (Double Dry Hopped) IPA made in collaboration with Coast Beer Co., the Scottish pioneers of non-alcoholic craft beers, and it is also the first non-alcoholic craft IPA beer in the entire region.

''Our mission has always been to make the beers we love. With the use of the highest quality ingredients, innovative yeasts and brewing techniques, we have produced a non-alcoholic vegan beer that tastes great,'' stated David Plant, CEO of The Garden Brewery.

The goal of the Zagreb Garden Brewery is to shake up the established market of non-alcoholic beers, but also to monitor demand as time goes on. An increasing number of people are taking care of their health and are consciously switching to non-alcoholic beverages, as well as those with a low alcohol content.

The global soft beer market is expected to grow to 20 billion US dollars by the year 2024, and with the latest addition to their offer, the Zagreb Garden Brewery is once again at the forefront of trends in craft brewing across Europe, the brewery said.

This popular Croatian brewery ships to 25 countries across the European Union, and exports to more than 30 countries around the world. The list of countries to which it exports also includes China, as well as Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Vietnam, South Korea, and Japan.

In addition to the very distant countries and markets of Australia and New Zealand, the Zagreb Garden Brewery is present throughout Europe, successfully exporting to European countries such as the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Italy, Germany, Scandinavia and the Benelux countries, as well as Spain, Portugal, Malta and Greece.

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Wednesday, 25 November 2020

Garden Brewery Exports Jump 108% - Beer in China, Next Step USA

As Marija Crnjak/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 24th of November, 2020, despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic which blocked their HoReCa segment and the festival business overnight, Zagreb's craft brewery The Garden Brewery, whose shares have been listed on the Zagreb Stock Exchange since the spring, managed to increase total revenues by 20 percent in the first three quarters of 2020 thanks to export growth which has doubled compared to last year.

With the strong growth of the European export market, The Garden Brewery managed to enter the huge market of China during this crisis year, thus cracking the Asian market and the expansion of that brewery to Malaysia, Thailand, Japan and the United Arab Emirates.

Next year, the goal is America, they revealed from The Garden Brewery, which just won gold for the second time as the best brewery in the EU, according to the 2.2 million votes of Beer 52, the largest beer club in the world. Tom O’Hara, the brewery’s director, explains that this year has been a year of quick solutions, innovation and launching entirely new processes. Like many, the pandemic closed The Garden Brewery overnight and they had to turn directly to consumers.

Through their webstore and social media, they discovered audiences across Europe who were interested in trying their beers at home. That opened up a whole new sales channel, O’Hara says. Their distributors across Europe quickly adapted to the situation, which brought them export growth in the first three quarters of 2020, seeing it grow by a massive 108 percent, and exports have also been the largest generator of growth this year.

Despite the decline of HoReCa and festivals, The Garden Brewery had a 20 percent increase in total revenue thanks to exports in the first three quarters of 2020, with investment in production doubling, meaning it can now produce 2 million litres of beer a year.

The Garden Brewery's founder David Plant pointed out that the pandemic has accelerated change so strongly, that he is confident it will emerge from this with a much stronger position. Here in Croatia, the losses were very large due to the pandemic, the abolition of festivals and the weaker summer season, and also the earthquake, but good cooperation with partners supermarkets means they can expect a decent 2021.

Next year, in addition to export growth in Asia, The Garden Brewery plans to explore entering the US market. "In these 4 years, we've come a long way and I believe that next year we'll continue to prove ourselves as an important, fast-growing, innovative global craft brewery from Croatia," concluded Plant.

Entering the Asian market could be a new milestone for the company, too. Tom O’Hara explains that the Asian craft beer market has been strong for the past 10 years, and in recent years it has opened its doors to the best breweries in Europe and America. Their consumers are well informed and know what they're looking for, and that is quality, innovative products. The possibilities for The Garden Brewery there are, as such - endless.

"Entering such a large and important market like that of China requires a lot of time and planning. We work with an excellent Chinese distributor who loves our beer and story and together we went through all the logistics, paperwork and regulations together, gaining a good impression of which beer flavours do well there and which don’t. After a few deliveries alone, we're recording significant growth, the potential is obviously huge and a few of our beers have simply been on fire. Next year we're planning some tours and events across China and cooperation with Chinese breweries, we can't wait,'' revealed David Plant.

He is aware that starting a business in China can mean a huge shift for their business, but at the same time they need to continue to innovate new styles of beer too, as well as work to maintain excellence in their own products and business.

Within Asia, each country has its own story, from the stage of market development to regulation and consumer taste, but the first indications for many of these countries are very positive indeed.

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Monday, 14 September 2020

The Garden Brewery Celebrates Sale of 3 Millionth Can

September 14, 2020 – Zagreb craft ale specialists The Garden Brewery celebrate the sale of their 3,000,000th can with a competition to win a year's supply of brilliant beer

Summer hasn't quite gone as planned for anyone in 2020. Some of The Garden Brewery team expected to be spending much of the season on the coast in Tisno. Set up in part by the team that ran The Garden Festival, for them, it should have been another summer of music, dancing, and welcoming thousands of international visitors to the many festivals they host on their site near Murter island. But, all of the festivals were cancelled.

Right at the start of the Coronavirus outbreak, the Garden Tisno festivals faced the unknown and some tough decisions. By mutual agreement with the site, it was decided to put the health and safety of visitors and staff first and cancel all of 2020's events. But, The Garden Brewery is no longer reliant on festival-goers to buy their beer. Just four years into their beer-making operations in Žitnjak, Zagreb, the beer is now exported to 26 countries on three continents. In the past week, they have sold their 3 millionth can of beer.


Despite the hit of Coronavirus, their business has actually grown by 40% in the past year, necessitating the expansion of their production facility in Zagreb (they are installing a new canning line to aid capacity). They currently have over 20 full-time staff at The Garden Brewery – mostly Croatian - and have so far made over 80 different kinds of beer. In 2019 the brewery was named 'Best EU brewery' by Beer 52, a UK-based home delivery subscription service for craft beers. It's the largest of its kind in the world and over 400, 000 public votes were cast in the competition.

To celebrate the milestone of its 3millionth can, The Garden Brewery is giving ale fans the chance to win a year's supply of beer for them and a friend. 24 beers will be delivered each month, for 12 months, to the winner and their nominated friend. To enter the competition, you just need to sign up for The Garden Brewery's monthly newsletter here

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Sunday, 25 February 2018

British Embassy Zagreb 'What Links Us Together' - Nick Colgan and Garden Brewery Interview

February 21, 2018 - The second in the British Embassy's videos focusing on the people who link Croatia and the UK - Nick Colgan, founder of the Garden project, from festivals to a very successful brewery business in Zagreb.

Thursday, 28 December 2017

The Garden Brewery: Croatian Craft Beer and Design in Bars All Over Europe

It is 18 months since the opening of The Garden Brewery in Zagreb. It has been quite a ride with rapid expansion beyond Croatia, as this press release on December 23, 2017, shows.