Author Topic: Another craft brewer bites the dust!  (Read 3842 times)

Offline Scott Ickes

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Another craft brewer bites the dust!
« on: January 24, 2015, 12:35:32 PM »
I just heard that Elysian in Seattle has been purchased by Anheuser-Busch!

I think I have A-B's strategy figured out.  If you can't make great beer on your own, go and purchase people that do make great beer.

I live in this neck of the woods and A-B has purchased 10 Barrell Brewing and Elysian in the past few months.

I'm not sure I like what's happening to the craft beer scene.  We have such great craft and microbreweries here in the Pacific Northwest.  It will be interesting to see if A-B leaves them alone and let's these breweries continue to do what they do best, which is make great beer with inspiration and imagination.  I hope they let them continue to do what they do best.
Kegs:
 Red IPA
 ESB
 Saison Solera
 Dubel (Aged in Malbec Wine Barrel
Aging:
 80 Shilling (In bourbon barrel)
Bottled
 Peppermint Patty Stout
 Wee Heavy

Scott Ickes
https://creativebrewing.wordpress.com

Offline brewfun

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Re: Another craft brewer bites the dust!
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2015, 02:06:58 PM »
I think I have A-B's strategy figured out.  If you can't make great beer on your own, go and purchase people that do make great beer.

I agree. They've consistently proved that they don't understand the craft beer movement and therefore cannot exploit it. So, they have started to buy their way into the ethos of craft.

Still, remember that the parent company, In-Bev started by acquiring Hoegaarden from Pierre Celis. It has ALWAYS been their method to buy a small brewery, keep one or two of the main beers and bury the rest of the line. Then, convert excess capacity into Stella Artois.

I'm pretty sure that if August Busch IV still owned the company, this would not be happening.

Quote
I live in this neck of the woods and A-B has purchased 10 Barrell Brewing and Elysian in the past few months.

I'm not sure I like what's happening to the craft beer scene....   I hope they let them continue to do what they do best.

I'm not sure what this means. These aren't hostile takeovers. There's a willing seller involved. Dick Cantwell of Elysian has done more to mentor and motivate brewers and breweries than almost anyone in the business. If you want to start a brewery, the guidebook sold by the Brewer's Association is written by Cantwell. Do you have the Barleywine Style book? Cantwell and another legend, Fal Allen wrote it.

Breweries are a harder business than most homebrewers and drinkers understand. It's nearly always at least 8 years to get a break even return on the investment. In that time, it's the owners and investors that defer getting paid or take just enough to get by. Their real payoff, typically, is when they sell the business. When you get to a certain size and are ready to retire, how many players have the money to pay you what the business is worth?

Ken Grossman has two kids that are into the beer business. Ken won't sell, but eventually there will be heirs with conflicting thoughts about Sierra Nevada. Then what?

FWIW, I think employee ownership programs will become more popular as a way out for founders and investors.

Cantwell has earned a cushy retirement.
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Offline Scott Ickes

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Re: Another craft brewer bites the dust!
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2015, 03:45:06 PM »
Quote
I live in this neck of the woods and A-B has purchased 10 Barrell Brewing and Elysian in the past few months.

I'm not sure I like what's happening to the craft beer scene....   I hope they let them continue to do what they do best.


I'm not sure what this means.

It means that I hope that the long list of quality beers will continue.  Elysian has a nice variety of beers.  I stop in there for lunch while on business sometimes, or have dinner there after working all day, and it's nice to have a variety of quality beers to try.  I hope the restaurant/pub stays open and that the food and beer line up doesn't change too much or shrink.

That's all I meant.
Kegs:
 Red IPA
 ESB
 Saison Solera
 Dubel (Aged in Malbec Wine Barrel
Aging:
 80 Shilling (In bourbon barrel)
Bottled
 Peppermint Patty Stout
 Wee Heavy

Scott Ickes
https://creativebrewing.wordpress.com

Offline Roadrocket

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Re: Another craft brewer bites the dust!
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2015, 04:02:23 PM »
It's always a shame when that happens but they can't buy them all.

Here in the UK more than 170 new breweries opened last year and Britain has now the largest number of breweries per head of population than anywhere else in the world. We currently enjoy an annual growth rate in new breweries of 10% which and the number of breweries operating in London actually doubled last year which is astonishing.

Most of the new breweries are producing cask conditioned real ales as their core product which is a marvellous thing.

The biggest swing towards real ale has been amongst young people who now want to drink quality craft beer brewed locally.

The growth started In 2002 when the Government introduced Progressive Beer Duty which gives tax breaks to smaller breweries. This has helped enormously.
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