Acquisitions are increasingly becoming a trend in the brewing industry at large, but also in the craft brewing industry. In September 2015, the craft brewing industry was rocked when one of the largest craft breweries, Lagunitas Brewing Company, was acquired by Amsterdam-based Heineken. Heineken is the 2nd largest international brewery by volume. The 50% purchase by Heineken could have serious implications for the international beer industry at large.
Heineken’s acquisition is about more than just part ownership. As an American who travels internationally, I can tell you that one of the only beers that I can get in just about any part of the world is a Heineken. That’s where this becomes big news, Heineken now has the capability and intentions to spread the delicious taste of craft brewing that Lagunitas represents to the world! Many markets that have Heineken haven’t even been exposed to the type of beer that Lagunitas brews, and by doing so they have an amazing opportunity to take the lion’s share of the market.
As you may have heard today, the Anheuser-Busch deal to acquire MABMILLER Plc has officially been sealed. With the completion of this deal, Anheuser-Busch will represent approximately half of the overall beer market globally! This beer mega giant certainly means business and will no doubt shape the world of beer like no other company can.
This isn’t Anheuser-Busch’s first acquisition, this is part of a bigger industry trend. The big established breweries are trying to meet the growing demand for craft beer and it’s spurring the shift toward acquisitions.
With brewery giants like Anheuser-Busch and Heineken buying out craft breweries like Goose Island and Lagunitas, where is the craft brewing industry heading?
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