3 breweries 1 Month. It seems that MillerCoors is taking a chapter out of the AB InBev playbook and buying up craft breweries all over the U.S.
Actually, it’s Tenth and Blake that has been purchasing the companies, which is a division of MillerCoors based out of Chicago. Tenth & Blake are the owners of brands such as Blue Moon & Leinenkugel and the reason they are nationally known brands. It seems like this is the new game plan to hold market share for the macro beer companies now. If you can’t beat ’em buy ’em. Tenth and Blake exists for that reason. And, now Revolver Brewing, Terrapin Beer Co., and Hop Valley have all joined their family in the past month.
It’s no surprise that you see many of these regional breweries opting to sell to the big guys. Most of these regional craft breweries already have a relationship with these macro beer companies. Maybe they already sold a small part of the company to one of the big guys to help acquire capital. Then used that capital for expanding into other states or buying a bigger brewery. Or possibly they developed the relationship through their mutual distributor. There is plenty of reasons, and after that relationship has begun then it seems inevitable that as the old guard gets closer to retirement they start looking for an exit plan. Generally, the most lucrative plan available is probably selling to Big Beer.
Selling to a company like Tenth & Blake can seem very appealing to a regional brewery trying to make the nationwide step, or a small brewery trying to go regional.
For one thing, it offers security. The hard work of the founders will not be in vain when they get the payout with selling off their shares. Another reason is vast distribution channels. The Macro guys can help your brand grow drastically (it’s in their interest), and what brewery owner hasn’t had day-dreams of seeing their brand available nationwide.
There seems to be a schism in the craft beer community about breweries “selling out” to the Macro Breweries. Shit, Colorado’s Craft Brewery Guild split into two separate guilds because of it (read more here). Where do you stand on the topic? Let me know in the comments.
For more on the details of the acquired breweries, click here.
– Learn Up, SlyePup