Brewery M&A

Sell Your Brewery Business for the Highest Market Price

At Morgan & Westfield, we concentrate on the food and beverage industry, specifically privately owned brewery businesses in the lower middle market. We specialize in working with companies that produce between $1 million and $10 million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) and those with annual revenues between $5 million and $100 million. We advocate for business owners across North America, South America, Central America, Europe, and Asia, helping brewery business owners get the highest price when they sell.

Merger and Acquisition Services for Breweries and Brewery Businesses

We advise brewery business owners on the sale, or merger and acquisition, of their companies. As business brokers, we’ve supported hundreds of companies in the food and beverage industry throughout the sale of their businesses. We offer a broad range of services at each stage, including valuation reports, offering documents, confidential marketing, buyer screenings, negotiations, and whatever else it takes to make your business sale a success. We take responsibility for tasks like these, keep you up to date on the progress, and walk you through the complicated and challenging decision points. That way, you can spend your time and effort running your brewery business until the closing. 

Appraisals, Valuations, and Multiples – We Can Answer All of Your Questions

How do I get a business appraisal? What’s involved in a valuation? What are multiples, and how do they affect the sale of my brewery business? We understand the questions that business owners ask when they think about selling. But don’t worry because we can answer these questions and more. Our process starts with a consultation – it’s free of charge, and there’s no obligation on your part to take it any further. If you decide you want us on your side when putting your brewing business on the market, we’ll be with you all the way, from the initial planning right through the end to the sale.

Types of Businesses We Sell and Value 

  • Barley Manufacturers
  • Brewery Adjunct Ingredient Manufacturers
  • Brewery Barrel and Keg Manufacturers
  • Brewery Enzyme Manufacturers
  • Brewery Ethanol Manufacturers
  • Brewery Canning and Bottling Line Manufacturers
  • Brewery Flavor Extract and Concentrate Manufacturers
  • Brewery Fruit and Spice Manufacturers
  • Brewery Hops Manufacturers
  • Brewery Ingredient Manufacturers
  • Brewery Ingredient Suppliers
  • Brewery Packaging and Labeling Manufacturers
  • Brewery Packaging Material Suppliers (i.e., bottles, cans, labels)
  • Brewery Specialty Malt Manufacturers
  • Brewery Specialty Malt Suppliers
  • Brewery Water Treatment Chemical Manufacturers
  • Brewery Water Treatment and Purification Solutions 
  • Brewery Yeast Manufacturers
  • Beer Manufacturers
  • Craft Beer Manufacturers
  • Craft Brewery Ingredient Manufacturers
  • Draft Beer Manufacturers
  • Malt Manufacturers

Overview of the Brewery Industry

Definition

A brewery or brewing company is a business that makes, markets, distributes, and sells beer. A brewery or beerhouse is where beer is commercially produced, and the distinct sets of brewing equipment are called a plant. The brewery industry is a sector of the economy that manufactures and markets beverages made from malt and hops by steeping, boiling, and fermentation, such as beer, ale, malt liquor, and non- or low-alcohol beer. An essential part of the brewing sector involves those who produce and provide breweries with ingredients like malt, yeast, hops, fruit, barley, extracts, spices, and packaging materials, including barrels, kegs, bottles, cans, and labels. 

Overview 

The brewery industry is a significant sector within the food and beverage industry where innovation is prevalent, with many breweries constantly experimenting with new flavors and brewing techniques. Sustainability practices are gaining traction, and e-commerce and direct-to-consumer sales have risen. The brewery sector branches out to those who make beer, provide the equipment, ingredients, and packaging, and market and sell beer. The brewery industry includes craft breweries, beer factories, regional breweries, contract brewing companies, taproom breweries, beer gardens, beer halls, and brewpubs.

How We Got Here – A Brief History

  • 7000 to 6600 BC – Earliest Fermentation Evidence Discovered: The earliest archaeological evidence of fermentation comes from a mixed fermented beverage of rice, honey, and fruit. The residues of the beverage, dated ca. 7000 to 6600 BCE, were recovered from early pottery in Jiahu, a Neolithic village in the Yellow River Valley in China. This beverage currently predates the earliest evidence of grape wine from the Middle East by more than 500 years.
  • 1800 BC – Hymn to Ninkasi Created: The Hymn to Ninkasi is a Sumerian poem dating to around 1800 BC. As translated by Miguel Civil, the poem is a song of praise to Ninkasi, the Sumerian goddess of beer, and describes the process the ancient Sumerians used to make beer.
  • 1516 – Reinheitsgebot or German Beer Purity Law Enacted: In April 1516, the Bavarian Duke Wilhelm IV issued his Beer Purity Law, stipulating that only water, barley, and hops were allowed as key ingredients for beer production.
  • 1759 – Guinness Established: Sir Arthur Guinness established his namesake brewery in Dublin, Ireland, when he bought a small brewery in 1759. At first, the brewery produced a variety of ales and beers, but in 1799, Guinness, a master brewer, decided to concentrate exclusively on his recipe for porter, a dark beer with a rich head.
  • 1765 – Beer Production Improved: The world of manufacturing and beer production drastically changed with significant improvements to the steam engine. For the first time in history, the idea of mass-producing beer became a reality.
  • 1777 – First Steam Engine in Brewery Installed: Messrs Cook & Co. was the first brewery to install a steam engine. Before this, they used horses to work their grist mill. Initially, they purchased the engines for milling large quantities of grain and various pumping operations. However, they found many more uses for the engine, such as running machinery, stirring mash-tubs, and raising casks out of the cellars, which could do as much work as 70 horses.
  • 1817 – Very Dark Roasted Malts Created: Daniel Wheeler helped create very dark roasted malts by inventing the drum roaster in 1816 when British law forbade any beer ingredients other than malt and hops. Wheeler’s patent for malt was the solution.
  • 1842 – Pilsner Created: The creation of the Pilsner beer in the Czech city of Pilsen revolutionized beer brewing and consumption. New, improved kilning and lagering methods enabled maltsters to produce a pale malt with an unusually light wort.
  • 1850s – Anheuser-Busch Founded: Anheuser-Busch was founded in the 1850s, starting as a small neighborhood brewery. Through the combined efforts of Eberhard Anheuser, Adolphus Busch, and thousands of employees, their brewery quickly transformed from a local fixture into a national presence.
  • 1860 – Pasteurization Started: Louis Pasteur’s research led to pasteurization, significantly improving the shelf-life of beer.
  • 1920 to 1933 – The Prohibition Era Started: The U.S. Prohibition era led to the closure of many breweries. Prohibition was a nationwide ban on selling and importing alcoholic beverages from 1920 to 1933. While Prohibition did little to stop the sale, production, and consumption of alcohol, it increased organized crime and decreased tax revenue. Along came the Great Depression, so the federal government enacted the 21st Amendment to get approximately half a million Americans back to work and generate some much-needed tax money. 
  • 1979 – Homebrewing Legalized: U.S. homebrewing was federally legalized, leading to the growth of craft brewing in the decades that followed. 
  • 1980 to 1990 – Craft Beer Movement Soared: The craft beer movement soared in the U.S., dramatically increasing the number of craft breweries.
  • 1995 – Online Beer Communities and Websites Surged: The internet boom of the mid-90s led to a surge in online beer communities and websites dedicated to beer appreciation and homebrewing, fostering the growth of the craft beer community.
  • 1996 – World Beer Cup Founded: The Brewers Association started the World Beer Cup Competition to celebrate the art and science of brewing. Commonly referred to as “The Olympics of Beer Competitions,” it takes place annually in conjunction with the Craft Brewers Conference and BrewExpo America. 
  • 2010 to 2020 – Craft Brewing Expanded: Craft brewing expands globally, with a significant rise in brewpubs, beer gardens, and taprooms.
  • 2020 to 2021 – Brewery Industry Disrupted: The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the brewery industry, accelerated the trend of direct-to-consumer sales, and led to innovations in e-commerce and delivery. 
  • 2022 – Cost of Barley Affected: The conflict between Ukraine and Russia impacted Ukraine’s supply chain, causing a reduction in barley exports and a rise in production costs for breweries. According to Jim McGreevy, president and CEO of The Beer Institute, an estimated 20% or one-fifth of barely, the main component in beer production, comes from Ukraine. 
  • 2022 – First State Brewing Company Grew: Delaware-based First State Brewing Company recorded the biggest jump in percentage growth in 2022, rising over 3,000 percent to 20,073 visits in 2022. 
  • 2022 – Largest Beer Company Named: According to Statista, Anheuser-Busch InBev was confirmed to be the largest beer company in the world, with a 2022 revenue of $57.83 billion. Heineken Holding was the second largest company, with sales of $30.2 billion.
  • 2023 – Craft Beer Takes Off in Ukraine: Parallel to global trends but also as a way to distinguish Ukrainian identity from Russia, there was a noticeable rise in craft beer popularity in Ukraine. Local and artisanal products started gaining traction among consumers, partly driven by a sense of nationalism.
  • 2023 – Three “Most-Liked” Beers Named: According to a YouGov poll, Guinness, Corona, and Heineken were named the three “most-liked” beers in America in 2023.

Trends That May Affect M&A Activity

The following is a list of trends that can affect future M&A activity in the brewery industry:

  • Craft Beer and Microbreweries: Consumers continue to strongly prefer craft beers, leading to an increase in microbreweries and brewpubs known for their innovation and variety, offering unique flavors and brewing methods.
  • Non-Alcoholic Beers: As health and wellness trends rise, so does the demand for non-alcoholic and low-alcohol beers. Breweries are responding with better-tasting, alcohol-free options.
  • Sustainable Brewing: There’s a growing focus on sustainability within the industry, with breweries adopting eco-friendly practices water and energy use, waste management, and ingredient sourcing.
  • E-Commerce and Direct Sales: The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the shift to online sales and home deliveries of beer, a trend that’s likely to continue.
  • Hard Seltzers and Ready-to-Drink (RTD) Beverages: Hard seltzers and other RTD beverages have grown significantly, appealing to consumers seeking lower-calorie and lower-alcohol options.
  • Experiential Breweries: Brewpubs, taprooms, and experiential breweries offering tours, tastings, and events are becoming increasingly popular, providing consumers with unique beer-drinking experiences.
  • Diversified Portfolios: To cater to a broader range of consumers and compete with spirits and wines, many breweries are diversifying their portfolios to include ciders, hard kombuchas, and other alternative beverages.
  • Localism and Hyper-Local Breweries: The “drink local” trend is strong in the brewing industry, with consumers keen to support local businesses and enjoy beers that feature locally sourced ingredients.
  • Unique and Experimental Flavors: From fruity and botanical infusions to barrel-aged beers, breweries constantly experiment with flavors to create unique beers and attract adventurous consumers.

Summary of Brewery Industry Acquisitions

Summary of Acquisitions
TargetBuyerTransaction
Target Industry (Industry > Niche)Target Target LocationBuyer Industry BuyerBuyer LocationDatePurchase Price
Beer Brand > Beer, PilsnerHowdy Beer BrandUSACraft CideryStem CidersUSAApr 2022Undisclosed
Beer Producers > Cider and BeerSeattle Cider and Two BeersUSAAgri Food-ProcessingAgrial GroupFranceSep 2016Undisclosed
Beverages > Alcoholic, Non- AlcoholicCUB Pty LtdAustraliaAlcoholic BeveragesAsahi HoldingsJapanJun 2020Undisclosed
Beverages > Alcoholic Drinks, SeltzerBoathouse BeverageUSABrewery and DrinksAnheuser-BuschBelgiumSep 2016Undisclosed
Brewery > Ale, BeerDogfish Head BreweryUSABreweryBoston BeerUSAMay 2019$300 Million
Brewery > Ale, BeerKona BrewingUSAInvestment FirmPV BrewingUSAJun 2020$16 Million
Brewery > Beer, CiderCraft Brew AllianceUSABrewery and DrinkAnheuser-BuschBelgiumSep 2020$379 Million
Brewery > Beer, Wine, SpiritsCisco BrewersUSABeer, Cider BrandsCraft Brew AllianceUSAOct 2018$23 Million
Brewery > Craft BeerCANarchyUSAEnergy Drinks ManufacturerMonster BeverageUSAFeb 2022$330 Million
Brewery > Craft BeerWoodhouse BrewingCanadaBreweryJunction Craft BreweryCanadaMay 2022Undisclosed
Brewery > Craft BeerRivertowne Brewing CompanyUSABreweryHelltown BrewingUSAOct 2018$2.1 Million
Brewery > Craft BeerPostmark BrewingCanadaBreweryCraft Collective BeerworksCanadaOct 2018Undisclosed

Monster Beverage Acquired CANarchy Craft Brewery (Brewery)

  • Date: February 2022
  • Price: $330 Million
  • Target: CANarchy Craft Brewery Collective LLC – A disruptive group of independent brewers providing innovative and quality flavors to craft beer aficionados.
  • Location: Colorado, USA
  • Buyer: Monster Beverage Corporation – An American beverage company and manufacturer of energy drinks, including Monster Energy, Burn, and Relentless.
  • Purpose: Hilton Schlosberg, Vice Chairman and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Monster Beverage, said, “This transaction provides us with a springboard from which to enter the alcoholic beverage sector.”
  • Details: The transaction brought the Cigar City, Oskar Blues, Deep, Perrin Brewing, Squatters, and Wasatch brands to the Monster beverage portfolio.

Agrial Acquired Seattle Cider and Two Beers (Cider and Beer)

  • Date: September 2016
  • Price: Undisclosed Amount
  • Target: Seattle Cider and Two Beers – Cider and beer producers.
  • Location: Seattle, USA
  • Buyer: Agrial Group – A prominent French agricultural and food-processing cooperative group.
  • Purpose: Joel VandenBrink, founder of the two Seattle-based companies, said, “As Two Beers Brewing Company enters its 10th year and Seattle Cider enters its fourth year, it became clear that my desires for both companies far exceeded our ability to grow them sustainably – something I have always held as a high priority. I want nothing less than Two Beers Brewing Company and Seattle Cider Company to be premier companies in their fields and have the continuous ability to keep up with the ever-changing demands of a crowded industry.”
  • Details: The financial terms of the agreement were undisclosed.

Asahi Holdings Acquired CUB Pty Ltd (Beverages)

Asahi Group Holdings logo
  • Date: June 2020
  • Price: Undisclosed Amount
  • Target: CUB Pty Ltd – Carlton & United Breweries is an Australian brewing company owned by Japanese conglomerate Asahi Breweries and headquartered in Melbourne.
  • Location: Melbourne, Australia
  • Buyer: Asahi Holdings – A Japanese global spirits, beer, soft drinks, and food business group based in Sumida, Tokyo.
  • Purpose: The CUB acquisition enabled Asahi Beverages to offer consumers a broader range of beverages due to the addition of Australia’s most popular beer brands.
  • Details: CUB will continue to operate the same way, except under the auspices of Asahi Beverages in Australia.

Anheuser-Busch InBev Acquired Boathouse Beverage (Beverages)

  • Date: September 2016
  • Price: Undisclosed Amount
  • Target: Boathouse Beverage – Doing business as SpikedSeltzer, a distributor of alcoholic beverages.
  • Location: Connecticut, USA
  • Buyer: Anheuser-Busch InBev – A multinational brewing company.
  • Purpose: The acquisition highlights the pressure on AB InBev and other brewers to expand beyond beer, which has been losing shares of the total U.S. alcohol market to liquor and wine over the past 15 years.
  • Details: The financial terms of the deal announced weren’t available. This acquisition was Anheuser-Busch InBev’s 15th transaction in the beverages sector.

Boston Beer Company Acquired Dogfish Head Brewery (Brewery)

  • Date: May 2019
  • Price: $300 Million
  • Target: Dogfish Head Brewery – A brewing company headquartered in Milton, Delaware.
  • Location: Delaware, USA
  • Buyer: Boston Beer Company Inc. – An American brewery founded by Mariah and Sam Calagione in 1984.
  • Purpose: Together, Boston Beer and Dogfish Head hope to create a powerful American-owned platform for craft beer and beyond.
  • Details: The combined company will be led by Boston Beer CEO Dave Burwick.

PV Brewing Partners LLC Acquired Kona Brewing Co. Inc. (Brewery)

  • Date: June 2020
  • Price: $16 Million
  • Target: Kona Brewing Co. Inc. – A brewery on Hawaii’s Big Island in Kailua-Kona.
  • Location: Hawaii, United States
  • Buyer: A Delaware limited liability company headquartered in Overland Park, Kansas, PV Brewing was formed by David Peacock, former President of Anheuser-Busch, and VantEdge Partners, an investment firm based in Kansas City.
  • Seller: Craft Brew Alliance Inc. – A beer brewing company originally consisting of five beer and cider brands.
  • Purpose: The proposed settlement required conditions that enabled PV Brewing to compete, including the sale of Kona brewing facilities, a perpetual, exclusive license of the Kona brand in Hawaii, and other interests.
  • Details: CBA agreed to sell to PV Brewing Partners LLC 100% of the outstanding membership interests of Kona Brewery LLC for an aggregate purchase price of $16 million in cash, of which $5 million was payable at the closing. The buyer paid the remaining $11 million upon CBA’s achievement of particular construction and production milestones concerning the new brewery.

Anheuser-Busch InBev Acquired Craft Brew Alliance Inc. (Brewery)

  • Date: September 2020
  • Price: $379 Million
  • Target: Craft Brew Alliance Inc. – A beer brewing company originally consisting of five beer and cider brands.
  • Location: Oregon, USA
  • Buyer: Anheuser-Busch InBev – A multinational brewing and drink company based in Leuven, Belgium.
  • Purpose: Craft Brew’s portfolio of regional breweries and lifestyle brands will help fuel the growth of the craft beer sector in the competitive U.S. beer industry.
  • Details: The acquisition was completed by A-B’s U.S. subsidiary, Anheuser-Busch Companies LLC, which already retained a minority ownership position. Although the shareholders approved the deal in February, the transaction had to be restructured to comply with an antitrust review by government officials.

Craft Brew Alliance Inc. Acquired Cisco Brewers Inc. (Brewery)

  • Date: October 2018
  • Price: $23 Million
  • Target: Cisco Brewers Inc. – Known for the finest beer, wine, and spirits for over 25 years. Established on Nantucket and brewed for New England.
  • Location: Massachusetts, USA
  • Buyer: Craft Brew Alliance – A publicly traded company that owns several beer and cider brands.
  • Purpose: CBA will increase investments and resources to build on the growth that Appalachian Mountain Brewery, Cisco Brewers, and Wynwood Brewing Company have achieved as partners
  • Details: CBA said it also acquired Appalachian Mountain Brewery of Boone, North Carolina, and Wynwood Brewing Co., of Miami.

Junction Craft Brewery Acquired Woodhouse Brewing Co. Inc. (Brewery)

  • Date: May 2022
  • Price: Undisclosed Amount
  • Target: Woodhouse Brewing Co. – An independent craft brewer.
  • Location: Toronto, Canada
  • Buyer: Junction Craft Brewery (JCB) – Under new parent company Junction Craft Beverage Co. (JCBC)
  • Purpose: To add a selection of quality craft beer to complement JCBC’s growing brand portfolio.
  • Details: Woodhouse founder, Graham Woodhouse, joined JCBC as VP of Sales, overseeing the entire brand portfolio and retaining an ownership stake in the business. Woodhouse products are available online and at the JCBC retail shop and taproom.

Stem Ciders LLC Acquired Howdy Beer Brand (Beer Brand)

  • Date: April 2022
  • Price: Undisclosed Amount
  • Target: Howdy Beer – An American lager-style beer brewed by The Post Brewing Co. in Lafayette.
  • Location: Colorado, USA
  • Buyer: Stem Ciders LLC – A craft cidery headquartered in Colorado known for its adventurous exploration of various flavors.
  • Seller: The Post Brewing Co. – Serves award-winning gluten-free fried chicken, soulful sides, and food-friendly craft beer.
  • Purpose: According to Dave Query, founder of the Big Red F Restaurant Group, “The partnership with Stem will allow Howdy to reach its brand and distribution potential. They have a skilled sales team and a strong knowledge of the industry needed to launch a brand across several regions.”
  • Details: Stem Ciders will venture further into the craft beer realm after acquiring the Howdy Beer brand from The Post Brewing Co., which remains involved as a strategic partner.

Helltown Brewing LLC Acquired Rivertowne Brewing Company (Brewery)

  • Date: October 2018
  • Price: $2.1 Million
  • Target: Rivertowne Brewing Company – A brewery headquartered in Export, PA., just outside Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
  • Buyer: Helltown Brewing LLC – A rustic small-scale brewery creating beer styles from light to dark.
  • Location: Pennsylvania, USA
  • Purpose: Combining Rivertowne and Helltown creates an opportunity to grow and bring two legendary brands to consumers, offering customers the quality they deserve and the variety they expect.
  • Details: After filing for bankruptcy in May 2018, Rivertowne went up for auction with bids starting at $1.35 million. Helltown placed the winning bid of $2.1 million for Rivertowne’s Export, Pennsylvania-based brewery, land, and assets at its Verona and Monroeville brewpubs.

Craft Collective Beerworks Acquired Postmark Brewing (Brewery)

  • Date: October 2018
  • Price: Undisclosed Amount
  • Target: Postmark Brewing – A Vancouver, BC, born and built craft brewery.
  • Location: British Columbia, Canada
  • Buyer: Craft Collective Beerworks – Canada’s only collaborative craft brewery, merging contract brewing, sales representation, and its proprietary brands into a one-stop, innovative solution for breweries and retailers in an increasingly competitive and difficult-to-navigate market.
  • Purpose: “This acquisition is something we have been seeking for the Craft Collective business since inception,” said Craft Collective co-founder Richard Sehmer. The move allows Postmark to increase production, sales, and distribution nationwide.
  • Details: The team at Postmark was retained, with co-founder Steve Thorp continuing as brand director.

Public Companies 

The following is a list of public companies that operate in the specialty food industry:

Anheuser-Busch InBev (Euronext: ABI) (NYSE: BUD): Commonly known as AB InBev, Anheuser-Busch is a Belgian multinational drink and brewing company based in Leuven, Belgium and the largest brewer in the world.

Boston Beer Company (NYSE: SAM): An American brewery founded in 1984 by James “Jim” Koch and Rhonda Kallman, Boston Beer Company’s first beer brand was named Samuel Adams after Founding Father Samuel Adams, an American revolutionary patriot. Since its founding, Boston Beer has started several other brands and, in 2019, completed a merger with Dogfish Head Brewery.

Molson Coors Beverage Company (NYSE: TAP): A Canadian-U.S. multinational drink and brewing company headquartered in Chicago, IL, Molson Coors has main offices in Golden, Colorado, and Montreal, Quebec. Molson Coors was formed in 2005 through the merger of Molson of Canada and Coors of the United States.

Heineken N.V. (Euronext: HEIA): A Dutch multinational brewing company, Heineken was founded in 1864 by Gerard Adriaan Heineken in Amsterdam. Heineken is available in almost every country in the world with 125 breweries in more than 70 countries. It has the largest presence of all international brewers and is Europe’s largest brewer and cider producer.

Carlsberg Group (CSE: CARL B): A Danish multinational brewer founded in 1847 by J. C. Jacobsen, the company’s headquarters are in Copenhagen, Denmark. Since Jacobsen died in 1887, the company’s majority owner has been the Carlsberg Foundation. Its flagship brand is Carlsberg.

Kirin Holdings (TYO: 2503): A Japanese beer and beverage holding company, Kirin is known for brands such as Kirin Beer, Kirin Lemon, Mets, and Gogo no Kōcha. The predecessor of the company, the Japan Brewery Company, was founded in Yokohama in 1885 by William Henry Talbot and Edgar Abbott.

Asahi Group Holdings logo

Asahi Group Holdings (TYO: 2502): A Japanese beverage holding company headquartered in Sumida, Tokyo, Asahi’s business portfolio includes alcoholic beverages, overseas businesses, soft drinks, food, and other businesses.

Diageo plc (NYSE: DEO, LSE: DGE): A British multinational alcoholic beverage company based in London, England, Diageo operates from 132 sites around the world and is a major distributor of Scotch whisky and other spirits.

Constellation Brands (NYSE: STZ): An American producer and marketer of beer, wine, and spirit and a Fortune 500 company, Constellation is the largest beer import company in the U.S., measured by sales, and has the third-largest market share of all major beer suppliers.

Craft Brew Alliance (NASDAQ: BREW): CBA is a leading craft brewing company that brews, brands, and brings to market world-class American craft beers.

Private Equity Firms

The following is a list of private equity firms investing in the specialty food industry:

  • Advent International: One of the largest and most experienced global private equity investors, the firm focuses on investments in five core sectors, including business and financial services, health care, industrial, retail, consumer and leisure, and technology. Investments in the industry include:

Brewery Holdings – A brewer and distributor of beer in Romania.

  • Arbor Investment: Leaders in food and beverage private equity focused on middle-market companies, Arbor brings sound judgment and executional excellence to businesses. Investments it has made in the industry include:

Artisanal Brewing Ventures — The parent company of Victory Brewing Company and Southern Tier Brewing, ABV was formed to create a home for best-in-class craft breweries in close partnership with their founders.

  • Cambridge Companies SPG: Founded in 2010, Cambridge Companies SPG is a venture capital firm based in Newport Beach, California, that makes investments in the U.S. food and beverage, real estate, and consumer products sectors, including:
Owl’s Brew logo

Owl’s Brew – An artisanal NYC-based company that specializes in curating authentic and bold-flavored craft beers and cocktail mixers infused with tea and botanicals.

  • Charlesbank Capital Partners: A private equity investment firm focusing on management-led buyouts and growth capital financing of middle-market companies. Investments it has made in the industry include:

City Brewery – Specializes in hard seltzer and other flavored malt beverages (FMB), as well as ready-to-drink cocktails and other fast-growing segments of the premium alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage market.

  • TSG Consumer Partners: An American private equity company based in San Francisco, California, TSG was founded in 1986 and was among the first private equity firms to invest exclusively in consumer companies. The firm also has offices in New York, Connecticut and London. Investments in the industry are as follows:

BrewDog – A multinational brewery and pub chain based in Ellon, Scotland, with production of over 800,000 hectolitres, BrewDog claims to be the “#1 Craft Brewer in Europe.” It was founded in 2007 by James Watt and Martin Dickie, who together own 46% of the company.

Sweetwater Brewing Company – A craft brewery founded in 1997 by Freddy Bensch and Kevin McNerny in Atlanta, Georgia, SweetWater beer is unpasteurized, so its distribution is limited to select states.

Venture Capital Firms

The following is a list of venture capital firms investing in the specialty food industry:

  • Sequoia Capital: An American venture capital firm headquartered in Menlo Park, California specializing in seed stage, early stage, and growth stage investments in private companies across the technology sector. Investments it has made in the industry include:

DoorDash – Solves the logistical challenges of restaurant service and empowers local businesses to connect with customers through their platform.

Bira 91 – An Indian craft beer brand manufactured by B9 Beverages Pvt. Ltd., launched in 2015.

  • CircleUp: A financial technology company based in San Francisco focusing on consumer goods, they have facilitated investments in craft breweries and beverage startups. Investments in the industry include:

Fort Point Beer – An independent brewery that aims to make craft beer more accessible. The original Fort Point was built in 1853 and has endured two wars and five major earthquakes.

Partake Brewing – A craft non-alcoholic beer brand that focuses on flavor, health, socializing, and inclusivity for people who choose not to drink alcohol, whether as a need or increasingly as a lifestyle choice.

Professionals

The following is a list of professionals servicing or investing in the specialty food industry:

Angel Investors

  • Wilco Angel Network: WAN is a network of angel investors working with early stage businesses in Texas. Investments it has made in the industry are as follows:

Texas Beer Company – A locally owned brewery, the mission of TBC is to brew delicious, locally sourced beer that makes Texans proud.

Consultants

  • CedarStore Industry: Involved in the brewing industry for over 25 years, CedarStore Industry manufactures and installs the products and tools that make brewing beer possible. With their experience with a wide range of manufacturers and businesses and a full suite of brewery consulting services, they assist brewers in one area or from start to finish.
  • First Key Consulting: The world’s leading brewing industry consultant firm with vast hands-on experience, knowledge, and innovation, First Key has been operating for more than 30 years in over 50 countries. Their consultants are some of the most talented and experienced experts who provide clients with independent and comprehensive advice and work with them to implement solutions in every area of their business.

Law Firms/Attorneys 

  • Calfee, Halter and Griswold LLP: Calfee attorneys have significant experience in many practice areas serving clients in traditional, non-traditional, and emerging sectors of the food and beverage industry. Calfee’s Food and Beverage group has the expertise to navigate all the diverse cross-practice issues, including alcohol licensing.
  • Harter Secrest and Emery LLP: With a long tradition of providing legal services to agricultural, food, and alcohol beverage businesses, HSE can navigate federal and state regulations to establish, maintain, and grow a brewery. Their multidisciplinary team assists clients in streamlining the process, identifying the proper licensing structure, and advising on acceptable trade practices.
  • Lehman Beverage Law: With vast experience in beer and brewery law, Lehman has over 50 years of combined brewery law expertise. Over the past decade or so, the firm has worked on thousands of beverage law issues on a daily basis with overwhelmingly good results.
  • McNees Craft Brewery Practice Group: Whether a brewery is just getting started or is a household name, the McNees Craft Brewery Practice Group provides a full range of legal services. Their experience is enhanced by a collaboration of attorneys from several legal disciplines.
  • Wickens Herzer Panza: Offers comprehensive business and legal services to all aspects of the craft beer industry, including brewers, brew pubs, restaurants, vendors, and suppliers, both as start-ups and as more established operations. The firm’s expertise includes liquor license acquisition and transfer, litigation, and employment and labor relations.

Brewery Industry Associations

The following is a list of associations for the brewery industry:

  • American Homebrewers Association: The AHA promotes the American homebrewing community and empowers homebrewers to make the best beer in the world.
  • American Society of Brewing Chemists, Inc.: The American Society of Brewing Chemists (ASBC) is a professional organization of scientists and technical professionals in the brewing, malting, and allied industries. It publishes the Journal of the American Society of Brewing Chemists.
  • Brewers’ Association of America: The Brewers Association is an organization of brewers, for brewers and by brewers. Their main purpose is to promote and protect small and independent American brewers, their craft beers, and the community of brewing enthusiasts.
  • European Beer Consumers’ Union: EBCU is a consumer organization founded in 1990 in Bruges, Belgium, by CAMRA (United Kingdom), Objectieve Bierproevers (Belgium), and PINT (Netherlands). The union campaigns on a European level to preserve and maintain the diversity of the traditional European beer cultures, with particular regard to local, regional, and national brewing and beer styles. They aim to protect the consumer from the imposition of unfair pricing by opposing unreasonable taxation or exploitative business practices, and ensuring that the consumer receives the best factual information about any beer on commercial sale.
  • Master Brewers Association of the Americas: Formed in 1887 with the purpose of promoting, advancing, and improving the professional interest of brew and malt house production and technical personnel. Today, MBAA is a dynamic, global community working to advance the brewing, fermentation, and allied industries by advocating the exchange of knowledge; creating, assembling, interpreting, and disseminating credible and beneficial information; developing world-class education offerings; and providing valuable personal and professional development opportunities. 
  • Society of Independent Brewers: SIBA is an organization representing the interests of independent breweries in the UK. Founded in 1980, it was intended to fight the pub-tie system, under which large brewers owned 80% of the UK’s pubs. 
  • The Beer Institute: Organized in 1986 to represent the beer industry before Congress, state legislatures, and public forums across the United States. It is committed to developing sound public policy that focuses on community involvement and personal responsibility. As the recognized and authoritative source of information on aspects of the industry, the Beer Institute focuses on these principles through its representation, information, and service. The Beer Institute assures a role for industry members in formulating public policy goals and works to implement its goals by providing representation before federal and state governmental bodies.

Brewery Industry Publications

The following is a list of publications in the brewery industry:

  • All About Beer Magazine: Established in 1979, All About Beer has long been a respected source for news, features, analysis, and reviews and offers engaging, in-depth articles and interviews covering every aspect of brewing, from the process and ingredients to styles, trends, recipes, business, and the social pleasures of drinking.
  • Beer Business Daily: Get the latest news and updates on beer with a focus on the United States commercial beer industry. 
  • Beer Info: Offers beer news, release dates, information about new breweries, and more on their website.
  • Beer Marketer’s Insights: The leading source of information about the U.S. beer industry for over 50 years with the most up-to-date, accurate information and news, as well as perspective, context, and insight for beer and beverage business professionals.
  • Brewbound: A leading industry trade publication providing comprehensive information about the beer space, analysis of industry trends, and in-depth interviews with industry leaders. Brewbound.com features up-to-the-minute news, a robust industry jobs board, a frequently updated database of U.S. beer companies, and a growing marketplace with listings for equipment, services, and more. 
  • Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine: The go-to place for brewing tips, beer news, and the latest on beer gear, Craft Beer & Brewing is a magazine and online community for people who love to drink and make great beer. 
  • The Brewer Magazine: Designed in 2012 to be a dedicated business resource for top decision-makers throughout the American brewing industry, Brewer Magazine assists readers in strategic business strategies, day-to-day operations, industry updates, and insights into marketing, sales, equipment, ingredients, and education.
  • The Brewers Journal Magazine: The professional magazine for the beer brewing industry, Brewers Journal is a new bi-monthly publication designed to give UK breweries, distributors, and suppliers essential insights into the issues that matter to them and how to take advantage of this growing market. 

Resources (Books, Podcasts, etc.)

The following is a list of additional resources for the brewing industry:

  • Books
    • Brewing Up a Business: Adventures in Beer from the Founder of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery: Sam Calagione started with nothing more than a home brewing kit, turning his entrepreneurial dream into Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, one of America’s fastest-growing craft breweries. In this updated second edition, Calagione provides a deep, real-world look at entrepreneurship and how to grow and operate a successful business. 
    • Handbook of Brewing: This book focuses on recent developments in brewing, such as hops and novel hops products, brewhouse technology, process control in the brewhouse, packaging technology, and approaches to maintaining beer quality.
    • The Brewers Association’s Guide to Starting Your Own Brewery: A practical how-to guide for those interested in entering the craft beer business as a microbrewer, contract brewer, pub brewer, or distributor. The book includes financial and regulatory information, industry success stories, and a clear description of each business type.
    • The U.S. Brewing Industry: Data and Economic Analysis: This definitive study uses theory, data, and history to analyze the evolution of the U.S. brewing industry from a fragmented market to an emerging oligopoly. Drawing on an extensive data set and applying the theoretical tools of industrial organization, management strategy, and game theory, the authors provide new quantitative and qualitative perspectives on an industry they characterize as “a veritable market laboratory.” The U.S. Brewing Industry illustrates many key topics in business strategy, industrial organization, and economic policy, including industry concentration, technological change, mixed pricing strategies, and brand proliferation.
  • Podcasts
    • Home Brew Rock Stars Podcast: About home brewing and the people who brew beer, this podcast features brewing industry news, tastings, and interviews with novice and professional brewers.
    • Master Brewers Podcast: Thousands of brewers download this podcast each week to hear interviews with the industry’s best and brightest in brewing science, technology, and operations, featuring technical deep dives, brewing history, cutting-edge research, hard lessons learned, and industry contributors minus the fluff. If you make beer for a living, this show is for you. 
    • The Brewing Network – The Session: The Brewing Network’s original live show featuring interviews with world-class professional brewers and homebrewers and the best in home-brewing beer and craft brewing, with each episode covering specific brewing topics to inform and entertain. The Brewing Network also offers other live-streaming radio shows and podcasts, including Dr. Home Brew, Brew Strong, Brewing with Style, and The Home-Brewed Chef, as well as live chats and videos. 

Industry Information

  • NAICS Codes
    • 312120 – Breweries
    • 4248 – Beer, Wine, and Distilled Alcoholic Beverage Merchant Wholesalers  
    • 424810 – Beer and Ale Merchant Wholesalers 
    • 4453 – Beer, Wine, and Liquor Retailers
    • 7224 – Drinking Places (Alcoholic Beverages)
  • SIC Code  
    • 5181 – Beer and Ale
    • 2082 – Malt Beverages
    • 5813 – Drinking Places (Alcoholic Beverages)
    • 5921 – Liquor Stores (Beer, Packaged – Retail)

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