East London firm, which makes Easy IPA and Shoreditch Triangle IPA, is latest craft brewer to be bought up by a multinational.
Carlsberg has snapped up London Fields Brewery, which has been up for sale since its founder was charged with tax fraud.
The beer firm in Hackney, east London, which built a cult following for brews such as Easy IPA and Shoreditch Triangle IPA, is the latest in a string of “craft” breweries to be bought by a multinational firm, joining ABInBev-owned Camden and Meantime, now owned by Asahi.
But the deal was struck in unique circumstances, with the brewery having been on the market for £1m since last year after founder Jules De Vere Whiteway-Wilkinson was charged with several counts of tax fraud, allegations which he denies. Carlsberg did not disclose the value of the takeover.
Whiteway-Wilkinson and wife, Rosemary Spence, appeared in court in January, but a trial was put on hold after three jurors pulled out for personal reasons. Proceedings are scheduled to begin again on Monday.
It is not clear whether Whiteway-Wilkinson will benefit from the sale of the brewery because his businessman father Juan now owns it, according to accounts filed with Companies House.
The brewery enjoyed rapid success with beers such as Hackney Hopster and Love Not War, and it was visited by celebrities such as Twilight actor Robert Pattinson and Friends star David Schwimmer.
“We’re thrilled to add London Fields Brewery to our growing portfolio of great quality craft and specialty beers,” said the Carlsberg UK chief executive, Julian Momen.
“We thank Julian for his work in establishing London Fields Brewery and the creation of this exciting brand, and we wish him well in the future,” he added.
Carlsberg said the business would be run in a joint venture with US craft beer firm Brooklyn Brewery, with which the Danish company signed a UK distribution deal in 2016.
Carlsberg UK is understood to have no liabilities relating to the company’s previous ownership.