CBA Buys Kona

Long-standing partnership is nailed down

Craft Brewers Alliance Inc. announced that it will pay $13.9 million for Kona Brewing Co., cementing what had been a nine-year partnership.

Craft Brewers was formed in 2008 with the merger of Portland’s Widmer Brothers Brewing and Woodinville, Wash.,-based Redhook Ale Brewery. Under the agreement, Kona will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Craft Brewers, which also distributes the beers of Chicago’s Goose Island Brewery.

Craft Brewers sell its products to AB which in turn distributes the brands primarily through the AB network. Both Redhook and Widmer are part-owned by AB

As part of Craft Brewers, Kona will be able to expand its brand and distribution while maintaining its craft brewery operations in Hawaii, said Kurt Widmer, co-founder of Widmer Brothers Brewing. All of Kona bottled beer and draft for mainland distribution will continue to be brewed by Widmer and Redhook.

“This is a way to expand and strengthen our portfolio to wholesalers and retailers,” said Widmer, “because the more diverse your portfolio is, the better your chance of getting great beer to beer drinkers. This will enable us to take the Kona brand to more places in the country, primarily beyond the Northwest.”

Mattson Davis, who will continue as Kona’s chief executive.

“This strengthened commitment has been nine years in the making,” Davis said, “and provides us with the resources and expertise to take our operations to the next level. CBA has always respected and shown appreciation for our tradition, culture and passion for brewing exceptional beers in Kailua-Kona on Hawaii’s Big Island.”