Your CBB team tries to remain a neutral observer of the beer business world. Sure, we are snarky jerks when it comes to commenting on laws and regulation we find to be ridiculous or unfair, and of course we make plenty of jokes at the expense of Big Beer. But hey, everyone has to make a living, and we try not to get all judgy about craft breweries that decide to “sell out.”
Having said that, we are generally bigger fans of strategies that keep independent craft beer companies independent. Because obviously that is way cooler. This is why we highlight ESOPs. This is why we wrote this lengthy feature on a new purchasing co-op trying to get off the ground. And this is why we want to share the news on this new initiative Stone co-Founder Greg Koch is pulling together.
According to this interview with Men’s Journal, Koch is determined to not only keep Stone independent but also a big chunk of his fellow craft brewers who are currently stuck in that growth hard spot. His solution is called True Craft:
… a $100 million fund established to offer breweries the necessary funding for growth without giving up majority ownership. The details of how, exactly, this new venture will be subsidized and administered are to be revealed in the coming months, but Koch has confirmed that the plan is to purchase minority, non-controlling stakes in willing craft breweries, enabling them to expand without relinquishing control or compromising their values. “There needs to be a different model: one designed to allow for the principles, the ideals, the ethos of craft beer to continue in perpetuity,” says Koch.
But there is more than just funding. Knowing that distribution access is becoming a bigger and bigger issue, Stone wants to utilize its craft-only distribution company to help provide more access, too.
We recommend heading to Men’s Journal and reading it all for yourself. Excited to see this True Craft initiative get off the ground.