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Lagunitas sells to Heineken , another good brewery sells their soul to corpor...

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curtisbrewer

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http://www.chicagotribune.com/dinin...-sale-tony-magee-heineken-20170504-story.html

After reading lagunitas story , I will never buy one of the beers again , started on more then a dozen failed batches ... then sold to a corporation , sometimes money and greed makes me sick to my stomach. Some people just don't want to grow craft beer , there wallet means way more to them. I hope he regrets it in ten years.
 

OleBrewing

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I may be wrong but isn't inbev Budweiser and Heineken?

I have only had there ipa and its not all that great. a marketing campaign is what sold lagunita beer imho.
 
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curtisbrewer

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I have never been impressed , I ordered lagunitas when it's the only option other than bud or coors in a restaurant , I have drank em when given one at a party . But it's still sickening , if a corp wants to buy you out then you clearly pose some type of threat towards them so keep on truckin and keep on making em jealous they can't have you ! Just my .2
 

Sammy86

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You know every time I see threads like this one thing comes to mind...you're basically saying that someone who started a business from the ground up isn't entitled to a life changing pay day...who are we to judge?

Are you honestly telling me that if you owned a business and someone approached you to buy your business with an offer that basically sets up your family for generations you wouldn't take it?

It's like people giving the owner of Ballast Point crap for taking the deal of 1 billion dollars. What we seem to forget is that beer is still a business...the object is to make money and the opportunity presented itself and he made the deal...who cares if you're not going to buy their beer anymore?

There are currently 5,300 breweries here in the states...you're really trying to tell me me that the sale of this one craft brewery is going to hurt the craft beer movement? Please, the craft beer movement is doing just fine and another brewery will step in its place.
 

Anyhowe

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They bought 50% of lagunitas about 2 years ago. I guess this just completed the deal.
 

Jtk78

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You know every time I see threads like this one thing comes to mind...you're basically saying that someone who started a business from the ground up isn't entitled to a life changing pay day...who are we to judge?

Are you honestly telling me that if you owned a business and someone approached you to buy your business with an offer that basically sets up your family for generations you wouldn't take it?.......
I agree. I think the same thing when college athletes go pro early and everyone gets up in arms. It's pretty easy to judge a decision in the blink of an eye when it has no real affect on my life. I can always do the noble and wholesome thing during a pretend meeting only taking place in my imagination. We're pretty quick to call sell-outs, but it may be a little different if you were actually in those meetings and those numbers were hurled at you by some of the best buyers in the world.
 

Malty_Dog

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In a free market consolidation is a natural, organic event, just like innovation and new entrants. It does seem that the market is saturated (subjectively) and it makes sense that certain smaller independent craft breweries would seek greater stability or outright exit. Couple this with the fact that craft beer drinkers are generally not brand-loyal as much as less "open minded" (think Coors drinkers) consumers. I read that somewhere and it made sense, because I'm as guilty as the next guy when it comes to always trying something new or different. I love Troegs for example, but its been months since I bought any. But then we are homebrewers, the ultimate "craft" brewers.
 

NSMikeD

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You know every time I see threads like this one thing comes to mind...you're basically saying that someone who started a business from the ground up isn't entitled to a life changing pay day...who are we to judge?

Are you honestly telling me that if you owned a business and someone approached you to buy your business with an offer that basically sets up your family for generations you wouldn't take it?

It's like people giving the owner of Ballast Point crap for taking the deal of 1 billion dollars. What we seem to forget is that beer is still a business...the object is to make money and the opportunity presented itself and he made the deal...who cares if you're not going to buy their beer anymore?

There are currently 5,300 breweries here in the states...you're really trying to tell me me that the sale of this one craft brewery is going to hurt the craft beer movement? Please, the craft beer movement is doing just fine and another brewery will step in its place.


It doesn't hurt the craft beer movement - it helps it. It inspires others to take the risk of investing their life saving and personal lives to start up plus the larger distribution capabilities of the larger companies makes these beers available to more people.

I recall many years ago, before we were aware of IMBev in the US about their business plan that acquired brands around the globe that were suffering from quality control and distribution issues and cleaned them up and rejuvenated these brands. They didn't muck with the recipes. In the same article it mentioned Heineken and how their acquisitions were leading to better work conditions for beer girls in Asia (where commission pay blurred line between waitressing and prostitution) .

It's not in their interest to let the quality of the craft brews suffer - they are making huge investments in these brands.

It's pretty simple, if the quality of the beer goes down, don't buy it. Not buying it simply out of protest only punishes the craft brewer in the long run.

I am a huge fan of Blue Point. I started drinking their beers simply because they were local. They sold me on the quality if their brews. Now I look forward to being able to get a Blue Point if I travel outside of Long Island, provided ImBev doesn't screw with the quality.

Another micro opened on LI last week. We have a vibrant local craft brewery industry - where rent and taxes are a HUGE obstacle. I'm not sure I'd have these options without the promise of corporate money providing the incentive of a payday down the road for these risk takers.
 

Norselord

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The corporate paranoia on this site is so over the top it is borderline ridiculous.

The reason that these giants buy 'smaller' breweries is not with hostile intent towards the brewery or its customers.
The purchaser is interested in buying only for the additional revenue, margin, and diversification.
The seller is looking for stability, growth, and a nice paycheck for the owners.

Why would a mega-brewer spend a ton of money to buy a successful craft brewer and then tear it apart? Do you really think that whether or not Lagunitas exists is going to impact Heineken sales in any way shape or form? They don't compete in the same market segment. If Lagunitas were to disappear forever, the impact on the existing line of Heineken products would be so minimal as to be negligible.

Heineken won't replace the brewery staff or change the fundamental production aspect of the brewery; they might absorb human resources, accounting, and marketing into their existing framework and use their management experience to help existing managers perform better, but that is all.

Craft beer snobs and the fringe homebrewers want it both ways; to see their passion as being legitimate without being accepted by the main stream.
 

groutgauss

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Sounds like a timed release of information, they probably announced prematurely hoping the Wicked Weed news would drown out the impact of their own.
 

pepindavid

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Some of you are funny... I'm as anti-big corporation as the next guy (probably more so than the next guy, actually), but those who vow not to buy from a "bought-out" company, and who are blaming the "greedy owners" who are only in it for the money (as opposed to the "general good of craft beer as a whole", I imagine) sure seem to think that you have the higher moral ground.

Do you hold yourselves to the same high standard for every consumer item you buy? You bread, where do you buy your bread? At the local bakery only? You surely wouldn't support a big national bakery, would you? And your meat? Only at local butchers, who only buy local small sustainable farms, right? And you never buy anything from Procter and Gamble, do you? And never anthing from Pepsi Co, Coca-Cola, or Nesté, right?

Let's not fool ourselves... In capitalistic economy, based on the accumulation of capital, companies cannot really just stagnate and be happy with it. That's not how it works. For all its creative power, capitalism condemns companies to growth. In this sense, consolidation is just a normal phase of any sector. It's inevitable.

Now we could debate about whether or not capitalism is the best "mode of production", but that's not my point: that's the one we live in, and have been living in for the past 500 years, and in this mode of production, consolidation of smaller companies into bigger entities is a normal evolution.
 
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curtisbrewer

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i don't think if i ever had the opportunity to sell my business to a larger organization , i would be able to give up 100% i understand that selling decent portions will open up a lot of streams and new opportunities. i just don't think if i ever worked so hard to become successful i would be able to give up my entire company. majority share? sure . i would still want to keep a slice of my creation though.
 

IndyBlueprints

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Are you sure it doesn't matter?:

http://time.com/money/4073371/anheuser-busch-sabmiller-craft-beer/

Even the new, ultra-powerful AB InBev-SABMiller super conglomerate can't buy them all out, one would think. But the global beer behemoth can strategically purchase key craft brewers and use them to make it extremely difficult for independent little guys to be successful in the marketplace.

#4. Control distribution. For better or worse, America's alcohol selection is the result of three-tier system, in which brewers and importers (tier #1) must use distributors (tier #2) to place their beverages in the stores and restaurants that ultimately sell them (tier #3). "Independent beer distributors," the National Beer Wholesalers Association states, "work to help new brands get to market and to ensure that consumers can choose from a vast selection of beer."

The problem is that not all distributors are independent. Anheuser-Busch InBev has been purchasing distributors around the country—including two recently in Colorado, one of the nation's craft beer strongholds. Critics say that there's an imbalance when one company owns two of the three tiers for distribution, and point to the history of AB-owned distributors only selling AB products, thereby shutting out craft brands and forcing them to find other means of distribution.

Reuters reported this week that the U.S. Justice Department is currently conducting an investigation into allegations claiming that Anheuser-Busch InBev is violating antitrust regulations by purchasing distributors and only distributing its own products, while simultaneously using its size and power to pressure independent distributors to stay away from craft labels. After all, if it's difficult or impossible for consumers to find craft beer in stores and restaurants, they'll have little choice but to drink mass-produced brews.
There's more in the article. Count me as one never buying Lagunitas (or anything swallowed up by ab inbev) again.
 

GilaMinumBeer

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"Reuters reported this week that the U.S. Justice Department is currently conducting an investigation into allegations claiming that Anheuser-Busch InBev is violating antitrust regulations by purchasing distributors and only distributing its own products, while simultaneously using its size and power to pressure independent distributors to stay away from craft labels. After all, if it's difficult or impossible for consumers to find craft beer in stores and restaurants, they'll have little choice but to drink mass-produced brews."

All I see here is a mechanism of Ab/Inbev design paving the way for regulatory scrutiny of an antiquated distribution system that deserves to be abolished.

I see that as a good thing.
 

Murphys_Law

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I didnt read the article but I hope he/she/they sold for big bucks and are enjoying rum drinks in their new, big boat.

Face it. Any one of us could mortgage our house and open a "craft" to "help craft beer" but we're all bitching and crying because these people DID IT and are reaping the rewards for their risk and effort.

You don't like it? Raise some captital, grow a beard, buy a hip flannel shirt and brew beer. Call it "Alturistic IPA" or some nonsense and don't worry about leaving an inheritance!

I say God Bless them. Don't buy their beer but don't judge them until you walk that walk.
 

mashinary

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I'll still buy their beers if the quality is the same. I still enjoy stuff from Ballast Point, and others that have "sold out". ****, a local brewing co-op where I live was bought by the same VC group that owns Oscar Blues, Cigar City, etc. Outside of the new parent company ****ting on the branding/marketing, the beer is the same. I can also now get beers that were unavailable before, from the other brands they own. Eventually, I imagine this VC will eventually "sell out" to make money from a larger VC/conglomerate. That's what they do...
 

IndyBlueprints

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Don't get me wrong...If opened a brewery, I would hope to sell it someday. And preferably to either the highest bidder, or to a family member, if I thought it would be in the families best interest. I own two businesses now, a custom home building business, and a home design business. The purpose of building a business is to use it to have a career and a job for you and family members, but the to eventually sell it and profit and/or retire. That's it. Bottom line.

That's Capitalism, it's the American Way, and I'm all for it. However, I can still boycott a business if they are bought out by AB-INBEV, and feel completely OK with it.
 

worlddivides

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Every single time this happens, a bunch of cry-babies come on and go "How dare they! I'm never ever ever buying another beer by X!" I think these people just come across as a joke. Does their logic really follow through to everything, though? Not shopping at Kroger, Safeway, Target, or their equivalent? Not buying products from Apple, Samsung, IBM, Microsoft, Sony, Dell? Not watching movies by Paramount, Universal, 21st Century Fox, Warner Brothers, Columbia, MGM? And on and on and on to every single facet of life. If you live a hermit's life, then fine, but you can't blame a craft brewery for taking an opportunity like this. If I were in their shoes, I would do the exact same thing.

Although I despise BMC beers, it's not because they're big and corporate. It's because I don't like the "American light lager" style. I wouldn't buy it if my favorite brewery made their own American light lager (though I might try it if I were at the brewery). I'm sure there are beers I like that aren't American light lagers that people would consider in the same vein as BMC, but there is no philosophy behind what I enjoy.

I support what I like, regardless of whether it's a local mom and pop store or a multinational conglomerate. And, sure, I've always really liked Lagunitas's beers (particularly Aunt Sally and Espresso Stout), but even if I didn't like them, there are tons of craft breweries that I do like that have been bought by much larger companies. And if ones I like that haven't got bought out did eventually get bought out, I'd still keep buying them. Besides, it's in no company's best interest to buy a company and change everything about the place so their fans stop liking it.
 
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There are still so many great craft brewer out there. I'm able to purchase & enjoy their beers when my own run low or I'm curious.
No need to add to the coffers of AB and others. Eventually the uniqueness and quality will suffer & they'll be just as uninteresting as Buschhhhhhh!
 

olotti

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As long as quality doesn't change I'll still buy hop stoopid, sucks, Waldo, high westified, etc. but if and this is prob obvious quality suffers and they decide to ramp up prices I'll prob be out. But hey good for them or any small start up company that can cash in on their quality work.
 

Scturo

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List of breweries who have Sold Out, either partially or entirely. Feel free to add any missed

Ballast Point
Goose Island
Golden Road
Lagunitas (50% Sold)
Wicked Weed
Elysian
10Barrel
Hop Valley
Terrapin
Revolver
St Archer
Firestone Walker
Ommegang
Boulevard
Founders (30% Sold)
Brooklyn Brewery (24.5% Sold)
 

IndyBlueprints

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Lagunitas is now 100% sold to Hienekin.
List of breweries who have Sold Out, either partially or entirely. Feel free to add any missed

Ballast Point
Goose Island
Golden Road
Lagunitas (50% Sold)
Wicked Weed
Elysian
10Barrel
Hop Valley
Terrapin
Revolver
St Archer
Firestone Walker
Ommegang
Boulevard
Founders (30% Sold)
Brooklyn Brewery (24.5% Sold)
 

Singletrack

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I don't blame successful brewers for taking a big pay day, if that's what they think they want. But...


1. I think it is naïve to suggest that this trend will not change the craft beer landscape. It seems reasonable to think that no one would buy a successful craft brewery and then ruin it with changes, but have you ever worked for a large corporation? When some know-nothing middle manager suggests a stupid change that saves a little money, who is going to stop him? How many times can these pinheads be stopped before changes must happen? Then, when the people with the passion decide to leave over it, we get meh beer that no one really cares about.


2. The big boys don't fight fair. To them, beer is business, and business is about making money. If destroying everyone else makes more money, then prepare to be destroyed. One of the things I like about small craft brewers is that their passion for the beer is more important to them than their desire to make money in any way that could be viewed as unfriendly to their peers. That's going away.


The business of business is business. I understand that, but I'm still saddened about the possibility of good beer packaged in green bottles with black and white stripes.
 
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