As expected, the deals are going down once again as craft brewers partner up to steady the ship heading into stiff winds of competition. Brooklyn Brewery has teamed up with 21st Amendment and Funkewerks while Shorts Brewing has sold a slice of the pie to Lagunitas/Heineken.
Brooklyn will work with 21A from San Leandro and San Francisco, CA and Funkwerks Brewing from Fort Collins to initiate an “innovative new shared platform for sales and distribution nationwide,” to expand into new markets and combine sales forces. The combined sales force will include 70 salespeople and 90 “brand ambassadors” covering 38 states. The threesome will likely expand into further markets with the new partnership.
“The changes in the competitive landscape demand creative new go-to-market strategies” says Robin Ottaway, President of Brooklyn Brewery. “We consider ourselves incredibly fortunate to have found partners who share our passion for beer, want to remain independent, and hold a long-term view.”
“The three breweries and sales teams really fit together well,” says Dave Duffy, VP of Business Development for Brooklyn who’ll lead the new platform. “We’re aligned where we need to be, complementary where we need to be, and have a lot of domestic and international territory to grow into together. We can’t wait to start adding value to our retail and wholesale partners in a compelling new way.”
Meanwhile, Michigan-based Short’s Brewing announced that it would sell a 19.99% equity stake to Lagunitas U.S. Holdings, a wholly owned subsidiary of Heineken International.
The deal will give Shorts the investment it needs to fund future expansion projects. Short’s is currently operating at 100 percent capacity and has been seeking a means to expand.
Lagunitas also has investments in Moonlight Brewing Co. in Santa Rosa, CA, Independence Brewing Co. in Austin TX and Southend Brewery in Charleston, S.C.