How local is your Craft Beer

Last post I mentioned I had not found a craft beer acquisition table or chart, so I thought I would make one. But first, a couple stories...

I used to listen to the quarterly earnings calls for Anheuser Busch (AB Inbev) in order to better understand the beer market and their acquisition philosophy, but would occasionally get a fun nugget of truth. As you may know, Red Hook Brewing is over 25% owned and distributed by Anheuser Busch through the Craft Beer Alliance. Red Hook was a Seattle landmark since before I was born, so I was shocked when I heard that Seattle was the #2 market for Red Hook. The #1 market you ask? Brooklyn, NY, Sounds odd doesn't it... I was not alone in my confusion as an analyst asked them to clarify why they believe Red Hook has such an established foothold in Brooklyn. They answered simply, the locals think the brewery is from the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn and never bothered to find out about its Seattle roots dating back to 1981.

Story number #2 and the reason I put a rush on the acquisition table is the closure of Bridgeport Brewing in Portland. Shortly after I turned 21, I took a post match detour with some rugby teammates in search of great Portland craft beer. Deschutes, Rogue, Widmer, and Bridgeport were the most well regarded and I was told I must taste the Widmer Hazy and the Bridgeport IPA. I discovered I truly do not appreciate IPA's even "great" ones, but the memory stuck as my first "official" brewery tour.

Now the geeky stuff see the chart below. I cannot say this is complete, current or everything ever, just a good start. I took a stab at a best guess as to whether the acquisition was successful or not based on the estimated barrels sold prior to acquisition and the estimated barrels sold as recently as I could find. The #numbers relate to the Craft Brewing Association Top 50 breweries by Barrels sold. Most importantly, I went about determining whether the acquisition was a minority or control position in the brewery. I will likely provide an update to this for 2018/2019 acquisitions as I tease out more information.


Evan Turner – Entrepreneur In Residence

Craft Beer Acquisition Chart


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