I recently observed that it had been several months since the last acquisition of a craft brewery by Corporate Beer, and wondered if the era of crafty beer acquisitions was over. A day later, AB InBev answered with a resounding “No!” by purchasing Australia’s 4 Pines Beer.
To Australian fans of craft beer, you might want to read up what’s been happening in the US craft beer market over the last five to ten years, since AB InBev seems to be using the exact same playbook in Australia that they used here. May I suggest that you start with a reminder of why true Craft matters, and also how acquired breweries’ rationalization are largely bullshit. Continue reading
After a flurry of acquisitions of craft breweries by Corporate Beer over the summer, several weeks have passed without a high-profile brewery buyout. Felipe Szpigel, President of The High End, AB InBev’s crafty division, said during an interview with Forbes, “Our plate’s full… We have 10 amazing craft partners. Our focus is going to be organic.” He added that AB InBev is “rethinking our business model surrounding the High End, centering more on efficiency.” Continue reading
Florida’s Funky Buddha Brewery was just purchased by brewing giant Constellation Brands. Funky Buddha has been a bit of an industry darling lately, having collected five gold medals in the 2016 World Beer Cup. The brewery opened in 2013 and had recently become the second largest brewery in Florida. They are known for beers made with odd ingredients, like bacon and coconut. Continue reading
The dust has settled after last week’s purchase of historic Anchor Brewing Company to brewing giant Sapporo. Here are some thoughts on why this isn’t the end of the world.
On July 26th, several deals were announced in the world of craft beer. First the good: Brooklyn Brewery announced it purchased a “minority stake” in both 21st Amendment Brewery and Funkwerks. On their blog, Brooklyn stated:
By our powers combined, we’ll be able to reach new markets, bring an incredible array of beers and styles to drinkers, and continue to grow and invest in all three breweries as independent craft brewers… Yes, that means Brooklyn Lager will someday soon pour in the Bay Area, and 21st Amendment cans will roll forth along the Gulf Coast, and Funkwerks will pop up in Brooklyn.
A recent Beer Advocate article highlighted one aspect of Corporate Beer buyouts that really irks many fans of craft beer:
If you’re a Big Beer-affiliated brewery, own that. Don’t hide it. In your company’s “About Us” or “Brewery History” page online, don’t omit that AB InBev owns y0u… Don’t play cute about it with the press. Stop telling consumers nothing has changed. Anyone saying that is either lying or negligently naive.
A recent article in Axios, Big beer is drinking up craft brewers, called attention to the problem of UK brewers getting bought up by Big Beer. In response to the latest purchase, of London Fields by the international brewhemoth Carlsberg Group, the United Kingdom’s Society of Independent Brewers asked that: Continue reading
Modern Times, one of the fastest growing breweries in the country, recently announced that they had sold a 30% stake in the company to their employees, with the eventual goal of the company being 100% employee-owned. Read MT’s announcement.
CEO and founder Jacob McKean sums up the importance of this move: Continue reading
The folks over at Beer Advocate just published another great piece about why sell-out breweries (which they call “zombie” beer brands) are bad for craft beer. Read the article here. Continue reading
AB InBev’s “High End” just released a video in response to the Brewers Association’s new Independent logo. Watch it here. Read a full transcript here. Read background on the Independent logo here. Continue reading