Two of the biggest names in the craft beer industry are joining forces.
Boston Beer Co, maker of Sam Adams, has acquired Dogfish Head Brewing for $300 million, the companies announced Thursday.
With the transaction, Dogfish Head founders Sam and Mariah Calagione will become the second largest non-institutional shareholders of Boston Beer, behind founder Jim Koch. Sam Calagione will join Boston Beer’s board of directors.
“This combination is the right fit as both Boston Beer and Dogfish Head have a passion for brewing and innovation, we share the same values and we will learn a lot from each other as we continue to invest in the high-end beer category,” said Koch in a statement.
Koch and Calagione are both pioneers in the beer world. Koch gave up a successful career as a business consultant to follow the family tradition of brewing beer in 1984. In the early days, he had to walk from bar to bar with samples to convince owners to put his then-revolutionary product on their taps. Calagione became smitten with craft beer as a student at Columbia University in search of his Masters of Fine Arts. He started home brewing in 1993, wrote a business plan in 1994 and opened Dogfish Head the following year.
The companies say the merger will allow them to better compete with global beer giants who have shown an increased interest in hoppier beers and other craft specialties in recent years.
“This merger better positions Dogfish Head and our co-workers to continue growing within this definition for many years to come,” said Calagione.
Craft beer has been an industry in consolidation for years now. Constellation Brands bought Ballast Point in 2015, the same year Lagunitas sold a 50% ownership stake to Heineken. AB InBev has been actively buying brewers, as well.
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