Added by on 2013-05-08

Stein o' Money

As the big boys are struggling to grow, craft breweries continue to surge.  The regional and national operations are drawing a lot of interested would-be buyers:

Craft’s growth is driving the interest. The segment’s sales surged 15 percent last year by volume as the U.S. beer industry overall struggled to post a 0.9 percent increase, according to Boulder, Colorado-based trade group Brewers Association. The demand has created pricing power as craft sales jumped 17 percent in dollar terms.

But there’s a lot of push-back for reasons that are obvious to anyone that’s ever visited a craft brewery and met with brewers in person.  Here’s Larry Bell on why he doesn’t sell:

“It takes so long to build equity in the brewery, once you’ve got it — especially if your name is on it,” he said. “Do you really want to sell that to some private-equity people that are just there to make a bunch of money and flip it? What does that do for your legacy? That’s not why I spent 30 years building the business.”

It’s a personal thing to a lot of people.  Even as a brewery grows into a large distributor for your region, you can still feel an individual connection to a local taproom.   That kind of connection is something equity firms sometimes overlook–it’s the kind of thing that doesn’t come with your contract to buy the equipment and the facilities.


Breweries, Featured, News

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