Craft Brewery Purchases, Closings, and Other National News

Craft Brewery Purchases, Closings, and Other National News

by Indiana On Tap staff

There’s been a lot going on in the world of craft beer this past week. Here are a few of the stories from recent days. They may not have a direct on Indiana craft beer at this time, but the trends can tell us a bit about the way things are going.

Craft Beer Alliance Buys Three More Craft Breweries – Consolidation of craft beer brands as been going on for years. Duvel Moortgat owns Boulevard Brewing and Brewery Ommegang. Southern Tier and Victory come under the common umbrella of Artisanal Brewing Ventures and Heineken owns Lagunitas (see story below). Other groups have gathered together more brands into their folds, places like AB-InBev’s High End, Oskar Blues’ CANarchy, and the Craft Beer Alliance.

Since Craft Beer Alliance is one-third owned by AB-InBev, they can be lumped in with Dilly Dilly people, using craft beer to suppress craft beer. Now CBA has expanded by three more breweries, having solidified prior relationships with Appalachian Mountain Brewing from NC, Cisco Brewing from MA, and Wynwood Brewing in FL. This brings to eight the number of craft beverage companies in CBA. See Brewbound for the entire story.

Four String Brewing in Columbus, Ohio Closes its Doors – The seven year old brewery in Columbus has shut down operations at both its production brewery and its taproom. It is not completely clear whether this is a hiatus or a permanent closing. According to a recent article on Good Beer Hunting, referencing a Drink Up Columbus piece, there had been layoffs at the brewery and reductions in hours at the taproom in the weeks leading up to closing. Author Michael Kiser goes into some detail in the Good Beer Hunting article about the rapid expansion and money invested by Four String and the implications of recent packaged and draft beer sales nationally.

Lagunitas Brewing Lays Off 100 Workers, Starts Brewing Newcastle Nut Brown Ale – Just about 17 months after completing its purchase by Heineken International, Lagunitas Brewing has announced a reduction in force of about 12%, affecting more than 100 employees. This makes Lagunitas one of many larger brands to lay off workers in 2018. Brewbound summarized the activity here. An article by VinePair adds that both the Petaluma and Chicago breweries for Lagunitas will start to brew Heineken-owned Newcastle Brown Ale. These two activities are seen as a beginning, rather than a culmination, of the transfer of power to Heineken from previous owner Tony Magee.

Other Closings – Delaware’s 16 Mile Brewing in Georgetown and Frozen Toes Brewing in Greenville closed in late September according to Delaware online. The Wichita Eagle reports that Augustino Brewing as closed as well. Brewer Association’s Bart Watson told Brewbound earlier in September that there could be as many as 300 closings by the end of 2018, and perhaps 500 in the next couple of years. See the full article here.

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