We’ve reported that Kirin Holdings Limited, home to Kirin Beer, has “ties to a military-run business enterprise with a stake in Myanmar Brewery, the Southeast Asian country’s largest beer manufacturer.
And now leaked documents that were seen by Amnesty International show that Myanmar’s military, which has been accused of years of human rights abuses, has received as much as £12 billion from Myanmar Economic Holdings Limited (MEHL).
A spokesperson for Kirin, which also owns UK craft brewers Fourpure and Magic Rock through its Australian subsidiary Lion, said it was “deeply concerned by the report.” And now both of those breweries are distancing themselves from the politically provocative association.
In a statement issued on September 9, just after the news broke, Magic Rock said that Lion Little World Beverages, the brewers’ Australia-based parent company which itself is a subsidiary of Kirin has nothing to do with Kirin LTD’s Asian holdings…
Magic Rock Brewing Statement
The team at Magic Rock share concerns about human rights in Myanmar and the issues raised in recent Amnesty International reports.
Our parent company, Lion Little World Beverages does not have any stake in or control over Kirin’s operations in Myanmar. However, aligned with our commitment to human rights, we continue to advocate to find a resolution to this difficult situation as quickly as possible.
Please be assured when you’re buying a Magic Rock Brewing beer; profits remain in the UK.
For further information regarding Kirin’s response to the Amnesty report, please click here.
And on September 10 Fourpure followed suit…
September, 10, 2020
The team at Fourpure Brewing Co. believe human rights are of upmost importance and should respected. We share the very real concerns about human rights in Myanmar. We are part of Lion Little World Beverages which has no stake or control over Kirin’s operations in Myanmar.
Importantly for our loyal drinkers in the UK, any profits made by us will be held in the UK. When drinkers buy a Fourpure beer, they can be assured that any profits will remain in the UK.
We’re advocating strongly to find a resolution to this difficult situation as quickly as possible. You can find Kirin’s statement on the Amnesty UK report.
Fourpure Brewing Co.
A spokesperson for Lion Little World Beverages told the Drinks Business ”that both of its UK breweries have “no stake in or control over Kirin’s operations in Myanmar, but we’re advocating strongly for a resolution to this complex situation as quickly as possible.”…
“While we know it in no way diminishes the need for an outcome that addresses the concerns raised in the recent Amnesty International report, the profits we make here, stay here. When drinkers buy a Fourpure or Magic Rock beer, they can be assured that profits remain in the UK.”
And the scandal’s reverberations haven’t been limited to Lion’s UK breweries…
New Belgium Brewing, which to be acquired by Lion in 2019, has also seen protests over Kirin’s association in the Myanmar human rights disaster.
Kirin has launched an independent probe into its beer businesses in Myanmar following pressure from human rights advocates.
And although it has appointed Deloitte Tohmatsu Financial Advisory to urgently” review the matter, Kirin’s association with a military regime accused of genocide against its Rohingya Muslim population (among other things) remains bad news all around.