Boulder, Colo.’s Avery Brewing Co. announced today that Spanish-based brewing company Mahou San Miguel bought a minority stake in the famous American craft brewery. The press release below is not stating how much, but Brewbound.com is reporting a 30 percent stake, which is the same number it invested in Founders Brewing Co. back in 2014. That 30 percent would push Avery Brewing Co. out of the Brewers Association for “craft” (definition here). Apparently, Avery couldn’t care less. From the Brewbound article:
When asked how he felt about no longer being considered a “craft brewer” by an organization that is located just 6 miles away from his brewery, [Brewing Founder Adam] Avery responded succinctly:
“I don’t care,” he said, noting that private equity’s “infiltration” into the craft industry should be more of a concern than large beer company acquisitions.
“It is so funny how ‘big beer’ is demonized,” he said. “The only way private equity makes money is by selling the business to someone else. Guess who will be the highest bidder in four or five years? Probably big beer. As far as the BA’s definition of what ‘craft’ is, I couldn’t disagree more.”
In 2014, Mike Stevens and Dave Engbers, owners of Mich.-based Founders Brewing, similarly sold a 30 percent stake of the company to Mahou San Miguel, which is a family-owned company that operates seven brewing operations in Spain and one in India. “Family-owned company” seems to be a big deal with these sales — plus the idea of eyeing global sales, paying off debt and finding a partner to grow. Here’s the press release announcing the transaction:
Avery Brewing Co. has announced a partnership with Mahou San Miguel, who is coming on as a minority investor and long-term strategic partner in the brewery.
Avery Brewing and Mahou San Miguel are excited to focus on a continued promotion of organic growth of Avery Brewing in the evolving U.S. Craft Segment. Investments will support Avery Brewing in their recognized obsession for the highest quality craft beers, innovation, distributor and retailer relationships, customer experiences, and strategic growth.
“Dad and I decided 2 years ago that in order to fulfill our vision of the new brewery and all of Avery Brewing’s potential, it made a lot of sense to seek a partner” says Adam Avery, Founder of Avery Brewing. “At that time, we established our criteria for our perfect partner: Minority Investor, Privately Held and Family-Owned Entity, Long-Term Investment, Strategic Advantages, and Good People with Shared Values. Mahou San Miguel emphatically checked all of those boxes for us and is our ideal partner for continued growth, remaining faithful to our beers and our culture. It is with great satisfaction that we stand side by side such a respected family company with a dedicated focus on brewing and the future.”
Eduardo Petrossi, CEO, Mahou San Miguel adds, “This new alliance, between two family companies, has been possible thanks to the passion we share for beer and tradition, and that we have similar values. We share the commitment with the communities in which we are present, our long-term vision, concern for the development and well-being of individuals and our aim of doing things right, placing the consumer always at the centre of our decisions. Avery Brewing stands out due to the excellence of its beers, recognised on numerous occasions, with a focus on tradition, but also innovation, ingenuity and creativity”
First Beverage Group is serving as exclusive financial advisor to Avery Brewing Co. in the transaction. The deal is expected to close in January 2018.
About Avery Brewing Co.
Since 1993, Avery Brewing has been committed to producing eccentric ales and lagers that defy styles and categories. Founded in Boulder, Colorado, by Adam Avery and his father Larry Avery, Avery was the 3rd fastest growing Top 50 craft brewery in 2016. Avery continues its obsession with the perfect beer and perfect beer experience- blending Old World tradition and expertise with ingenuity, creativity and boldness. In addition to the brewery’s most emblematic brands (White Rascal, El Gose, Avery IPA, Liliko‘i Kepolo, and The Maharaja), Avery stands out with its assortment of Barrel-Aged Beers, boundary-pushing IPAs, Belgian offerings, and a steady stream of experimental beers.
About Mahou San Miguel
Mahou San Miguel is a 100% Spanish-owned family-run company and Spain’s leading brewery. It has eight beer production centers, seven in Spain and one in India, three water springs with their associated bottling plants, and a team of 3,000 professionals. It has a history of over 127 years and a wide portfolio of national beers, including, among others, Mahou Cinco Estrellas, San Miguel Especial and Alhambra Reserva 1925, and also the iconic brand of mineral water Solan de Cabras. It also boasts a wide range of international beers as a result of the agreements entered into with partners such as Carlsberg and Warsteiner.
Mahou San Miguel has been present in the US market since 2011, where its brands Mahou Cinco Estrellas and Alhambra Reserva 1925 enjoy a growing visibility and penetration, particularly in Florida. In 2014, it signed an agreement with the Craft brewer Founders Brewing, located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in which it acquired a 30% share. Thus, it became a pioneer in Spain, by carrying out a transaction that enabled it to enter into one of the most dynamic and innovative beer markets in the world.