Remember when Shorts Brewing Co. refused to distribute outside the state of Michigan? The Bellaire-based brewing brand had an interesting philosophy: Limit your distribution and create demand by being rare and exclusive. The brewery’s motto used to be “Michigan Only, Michigan Forever,” creating the idea of limiting its crafts to only Michigan residents, which gave the brand a privileged quality. That changed early last year when the company began distributing to Pennsylvania and Illinois.
Ever since, Short’s Brewing and its Starcut Ciders brand have fixated on growth. In fact, the company has just announced plans to partner with Lagunitas Brewing Co. based in Petaluma, Calif., America’s ninth largest brewery, and 100 percent owned by Heineken.
Lagunitas’ 19.99 percent equity stake in Short’s will be managed by Lagunitas U.S. Holdings — or LUSH. Apparently, Short’s will maintain its individual brand image while gaining additional resources for continued opportunity to invest in Short’s staff, the Northern Michigan community and opportunities to, um, grow and grow. From the press release:
Joe Short stated: ”I never imagined Short’s would become such a successful regional brewery. The secret to that success has always been to surround myself with good people. The best people; who in many ways are smarter and more talented than myself. I’m confident all successful businesses would tell you a similar story. This partnership with Lagunitas is just another part of evolution in the cycle of our dynamic and growing business. I’ve grown so much personally and professionally during my time at the helm of Short’s Brewing Company that I understand now, more than ever — the continued success of Short’s and its people rely on me to make smart and strategic decisions. This is just one of them.”
When asked about the partnership between Short’s and Lagunitas, Lagunitas’ founder, Tony Magee, stated, “Having Joe and Scott and all their talented people joining up with the LUSH group is mostly cool but also kinda weird. Have you met those guys? I thought Bellaire was in Canada…”
“Pride, passion, and love of the work will always remain paramount. I’m super excited and proud because for the first time EVER, we’ll be operating without restriction, experiencing what true independence feels like,” stated Short. “I really admire Tony. His vision and level of understanding of the industry is fascinating to me. With his ability to share Lagunitas’ 24 years of experience, this partnership is going to bring some serious awesomeness to the people of Short’s.”
In conclusion, meh.