Yesterday, Founders Brewing Co. made a bunch of headlines for selling the majority of its beer business to recent investor and partner Mahou San Miguel (a Spanish-based brewing brand). I was too uninterested to post about another beer acquisition, but here we are. In much more minor news, Founders has also announced that the release of this year’s Canadian Breakfast Stout will be its last. Cue reflective music.
Who is Mahou San Miguel? First off, it’s Spain’s leading brewing company with a production share of 34 percent in the country, based in Madrid. The Grupo Mahou-San Miguel is touted as a family-owned and family-run business by members of the Mahou family who first founded the Hijos de Casimiro Mahou brewery in Madrid in 1890. In 2000, Mahou bought the remaining 70 percent it didn’t already own in the San Miguel brand from the Danone Group (a French multinational food company), creating Mahou San Miguel. Jose Antonio Mahou Herraiz, a seventh generation family member, is the group chairman.
Mahou San Miguel has many investments and brands. Its main markets are the United Kingdom, Equatorial Guinea, Italy, Germany, Portugal, India and the Nordic countries. In America, the company has been present since 2011, where its brands Mahou Cinco Estrellas and Alhambra Reserva 1925 have a growing visibility and penetration, especially in Florida. The company also has made interesting ventures in two U.S. craft breweries over the last few years, grabbing a 30 percent stake in Founders Brewing Co. in 2014 and 30 percent in Avery Brewing Co. in 2017. Early this year, both San Miguel and Founders bought another 40 percent stake in Avery Brewing — on top of the 30 percent sold to the Spanish brewer a few years earlier.
Now, Mahou San Miguel will hold 90 percent of Founders’ ownership with Cofounders Mike Stevens and Dave Engbers each retaining 5 percent of the business, according to every report around the internet. The deal is supposed to close in January. Stevens and Engbers haven’t said much about the transaction. What’s to say?
Founders has also announced the release of Canadian Breakfast Stout (CBS) in 12-oz and 750-mL bottles. It announced it was the last year it was brewing the brand too. This is not to be confused with KBS or Kentucky Bourbon Stout. 2020 is the third year in a row the brewery has released the stout, and they have no future plans to brew it again. From the press release:
“This will be the last year I plan on making CBS, so get it while you can,” said Brewmaster Jeremy Kosmicki. “Our barrel program has grown a lot since the first time we released CBS, so it’s been fun seeing an entire new audience become introduced to CBS over the past couple of years. It’ll be missed in 2020, but I’m looking forward to bringing out some new barrel-aged releases.”
So it goes.