Molson Coors Beverage Co. is set to acquire Detroit-based Atwater Brewery and add it to the brewing giant’s Tenth and Blake Beer Co. portfolio of smaller, regional breweries. Atwater marks the first such smaller brewery acquired by Molson Coors in the Midwest.
The transaction is expected to be completed within the next couple of months. Terms were not disclosed.
“The agreement with Tenth and Blake is both the culmination of our past and the catapult to our future,” said Mark Rieth, Atwater Brewery owner. “For Atwater to continue to grow, it will require both capital and brewing expertise. Tenth and Blake brings both, which makes them the ideal strategic partner to help us continue to live our mantra ‘Born in Detroit. Raised Everywhere.'”
Rieth and his management team will continue to lead Atwater’s day-to-day operations. Arlington Capital Advisors served as exclusive financial advisor to Atwater in this transaction.
This is the most notable craft beer headline from Molson Coors since announcing its “revitalization plan” in October 2019 (which included the name change to Molson Coors Beverage Co., retirement of the MillerCoors name, company-wide reorganization and a bunch of layoffs). Since announcing the plan, the company has expanded its ability to innovate in the non-alcohol space by taking a stake in beverage incubator L.A. Libations, announced it will air ads during the pro football championship for the first time in years and launched new creative campaigns for a broad range of its brands.
The Tenth and Blake footprint
Amid the overall decline of beer drinking in the United States, Tenth and Blake’s regional breweries posted volume growth of more than 16 percent in 2019.
Tenth and Blake was formed in 2010 by Molson Coors to start competing within the craft beer boom and grab more shelf space with a broader range of beers. A decade later, and Tenth and Blake breweries are dotted all around the country, including:
- The AC Golden Brewing Co. (Colorado);
- Hop Valley Brewing in Eugene, Ore.;
- Revolver Brewing in Granbury, Texas;
- Saint Archer Brewing Co. in San Diego, Calif.; and
- the Terrapin Beer Co. in Athens, Ga.
It also is home to George Killian’s Irish Red, Grolsch and such import brewers as Birra Peroni from Rome and Plzeňský Prazdroj (Pilsner Urquell) from Pilsen, Czech Republic.
More on Atwater
Founded in 1997, Atwater Block Brewery revived Detroit’s proud brewing tradition from its location in the historic Rivertown district. After investing in the brewery in 2002, Mark Rieth purchased the brewery outright in 2005, setting off several years of booming growth. Led by top-selling beers Dirty Blonde and Vanilla Java Porter, Atwater became a cornerstone of Michigan’s brewing scene.
Atwater operates three unique taphouse and biergarden locations in Detroit, Grosse Pointe Park and Grand Rapids.
“Atwater has been a staple and a leader in the Michigan craft community for more than two decades, and we’re thrilled to have them join Tenth and Blake,” said Paul Verdu, vice president of Tenth and Blake. “Our priority is to make sure their beer is enjoyed by consumers throughout their core markets and eventually across the Great Lakes region.”