An investment advisory firm to the global brewing and beverage industry

We Offer

M&A sell-side

We use our extensive industry knowledge, expertise and networks to help our clients identify a range of liquidity options, determine potential suitors, and steer the transaction to increase closure certainty.

M&A buy-side

As trusted advisors and strategic partners, we leverage our industry knowledge and expertise to help our clients successfully execute against their long-term growth plans and bring value to potential targets.


We advise on capital raising for M&A, growth equity, balance sheet recapitalization, shareholder liquidity and refinancing, ensuring that the right capital partner is found for our clients.


Acting as true business partners for your transaction, we provide advisory services in a number of areas including corporate strategy, opportunities for growth, expansion, waste elimination, working capital management, cost control, innovation and brand development.


About Us

From the Himalayas to the shores of California, First Key has worked for over 30 years in over 50 countries around the world and has a solid track record of going the distance for clients.

Sample Clients

Advent Partners
CFS Partners
CVC Capital Partners
Double Trouble
Elbrus Capital
European Bank
Live Oak Bank
LNK Partners
Magnetar Capital
Molson Coors
VMG Partners
Vostok Nafta

Our Mission

Our mission is simple – to lean on our brewing and beverage industry knowledge and experience to create added value for our clients, far beyond their expectations.

Who We Serve

Business Owners

"After we decided to close the Romford Brewery we appointed First Key as our agents to sell the plant. First Key not only introduced the buyer and helped negotiate the sale-purchase agreement, but also provided project and construction management for the removal of all the brewing and process equipment. The site was returned to Carlsberg-Tetley on time, under budget, and in an orderly fashion…a job well done."

- Alan Davis Managing Director, Operations South (R), Carlsberg

Private Equity

"It was great to work with you! I appreciate the speed, depth and out of the box thinking you put forth on this due diligence assignment. I look forward to working together again, whether it’s on the follow-up projects for the company or another due diligence engagement."

- Jonathan Marshall Vice President, VMG Partners

Investment Banks

"I would like to thank the entire First Key team for its very professional, responsive, and high quality work."

- Urmas Paavel Head of Private Equity, ETC Initiative, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development ("EBRD")

Family Offices

"It was absolutely essential having First Key as our transaction advisor. Having their deep brewing industry knowledge and understanding of our business really was the key to the success of the sale. They helped us to make informed business and financial decisions throughout the whole process."

- Nathan Dunsmoor Co-Founder, Double Trouble Brewing Co.

Meet Our Managing Partner

Chris Barrow is the Managing Partner of First Key Capital Advisors and focuses on M&A buy-side and sell-side transaction advisory services to breweries, private equity clients, family offices and investment banks around the world.

Prior to joining First Key, Chris held senior leadership roles in the brewing industry in Asia, Africa, Europe and North & South America. He worked with SABMiller in various roles around the world for over 15 years and then joined Heineken in 2004. Chris ran a number of global projects in Asia and Latin America before becoming Managing Director for Heineken’s Latin America business unit. He was the President of Heineken’s Polish operations from 2007 to 2010 and, in 2010, was appointed to run the newly acquired FEMSA beer business in Brazil. From there, Chris was promoted to the position of Chief Strategy Officer for Heineken working directly alongside the CEO to lead the organic and inorganic strategic development for the company. From 2015 to 2017 Chris was Chief Strategy Officer for Pabst Brewing Company.

Chris qualified as a Chartered Accountant in South Africa and has a Bachelor of Commerce (Hons) from the University of Cape Town. He has served on many industry boards around the world and brings a wealth of industry knowledge and contacts to clients. Outside of First Key, Chris enjoys outdoors sports, especially anything to do with water, and spending time with his 2 sons.


Contact Us

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