A few years ago, America saw the height of brewery-acquisition fever, as multinational companies like Anheuser-Busch InBev and Heineken bought out smaller breweries. Since then, we’ve seen more lateral moves in the beer world, as craft breweries band together to form larger conglomerates, or buy each other. Today’s news is a biggie in that realm: Delaware-based Dogfish Head and Massachusetts-based Boston Beer Company will become a single company, Brewbound reports.
This, beer fans, is huge. The companies are calling the $300 million deal a merger, though a press release states Boston Beer will absorb Dogfish Head’s workforce. The deal will earn Dogfish Head cofounder Sam Calagione a seat on Boston Beer Company’s board of directors beginning next year; he and his wife, Dogfish Head cofounder Mariah Calagione, will receive more than 400,000 shares of Boston Beer’s stock, which is valued at $314.60 per share. I’ll do the math for you: that’s $125,840,000. Divided by 60 Minute IPA, it’s… a gigantic wad of cash.
The two breweries were pioneers in the American craft beer movement, with Boston Beer known for its flagship Sam Adams line and Dogfish Head known for its extreme, “off-centered” ales like 60 Minute IPA, SeaQuench Ale, and Midas Touch. Dogfish Head is the 13th largest American craft brewery; Boston Beer Company is the second-largest (Pennsylvania’s Yuengling brewery being the largest), by the Brewer’s Association’s ranking. Boston Beer Company also owns Angry Orchard cider and Truly hard seltzer.
Over the past few years, regional and national breweries have struggled to post the same growth rates they did in the early part of the 2000s, a fact Calagione acknowledged.
“We talked about how challenging the industry is getting, the indie craft definition, brands that consumers think are indie craft, active lifestyle beers, and we discovered how beautifully complementary and not competitive our portfolios were,” he told Brewbound.
If news of these two titans of the craft brewing world teaming up is any indication of what’s to come, buckle up for a wild rest of the year.