You never know where the next craft beer investor will come from. This one is kind of tricky, so follow along: Last week, ANSA McAL, a conglomerate headquartered in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, finalized a stock purchase acquisition of Indian River Beverage Corp. (IRBC), which operates the Indian River Brewery under Florida Beer Co. Got all that?
Let’s unpack some of this. ANSA McAL’s beverage sector includes Carib Brewery which has operations throughout the Caribbean, and it also has agreements with Heineken International B.V., Guinness, Interbrew, Ginseng-Up Corp and Diageo. The real brewery brand underneath all of those layers of Indian River Beverage is the Florida Beer Co., which is the third largest brewery in the state of Florida.
Indian River Brewing Co. was the original brewery that started about 20 years ago. That company purchased brewery equipment from a Florida Beer Co. in 2003 and started contract brewing all its beers. This lasted until 2005, when the whole operation changed its name to Florida Beer Co. (with craft beer exploding, pretty nice to own the name Florida Beer Co.). Like most of the craft brewing world, three years ago, Florida Beer Co. expanded production and moved into the former Chrysler Space Operations plant in Cape Canaveral.
The acquisition of Florida Beer Co. marks ANSA McAL’s first purchase of a private brewing production facility in the United States. This Caribbean company says it is experienced in the production of beer brands with local flavor and international appeal. ANSA McAL’s Beverage Sector currently owns and operates Carib Brewery, one of the largest and well established local brewing companies in the Caribbean. With over 1,000 employees, Carib Brewery produces the much loved Carib beer, commonly referred to as the “beer of the Caribbean” and Carib Light. Carib Brewery also brews Stag beers and a range of Shandy Carib products.
“The milestones attained by Carib Brewery through the abundance of heritage and quality have earned us the distinction of bringing quality life to the Caribbean diaspora and beyond,” said Anthony N. Sabga III, group business development executive and sector head of beverage. “We are proud of our local roots and enthusiastic at the prospect of this new addition to our three other breweries located in Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada and St. Kitts and Nevis.”