Wellington bars drop Emerson's after sale

Several Wellington bars say they will drop iconic Dunedin-brewed beer Emerson's after the brewery was sold to liquor giant Lion today.

Wellington bar Hashigo Zake was quick to react to the news, issuing a media release saying it was "saddened" to hear of the sale of "New Zealand's best known independent craft berwer".

Owner Dominic Kelly said the bar would let its stocks of Emerson's run down and not replace them.

The decision was based on fears that Japanese brewing giant Kirin, which owns Lion, would start "meddling" with Emerson's.

At least one other Wellington bar specialising in craft brews was also planning to drop Emerson's, Fairfax media reported.

Brewery founder Richard Emerson said the brewery would remain as a standalone business unit within Lion and would continue to produce the same "great beers" from the same brewery with the same people.

"It's business as usual for Emerson's."


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