Wellington's Panhead brewery bought by Lion NZ

Wellington's Panhead brewery bought by Lion NZ

Panhead Custom Ales has been bought by alcohol giant Lion New Zealand.

The craft beer brewer will continue as a standalone unit in the larger company, and will still run from the same Upper Hutt brewery under founder Mike Neilson.

Mr Neilson says a "merger with the big boys" was too good to walk away from.

"Lion's backing will help Panhead grow to a point where anyone, anywhere in the country will be able to experience our beer."

None of the roles in the business will change, with the day-to-day running still left to general manager Josh Drake.

Lion managing director Rory Glass says Panhead has been a raging success, with a number of award-winning beers and big plans for the future.

"We have no interest in changing its winning formula. Lion's investment in Panhead will free Mike and the Panhead team to do what they do best -- brew great beer."

The deal will be effective from July 1 this year.

Panhead has won several awards in the past few years, including the Society of Brewing Associates' Beer of the Year in 2014 and 2015.