Craft Brewers Alliance struggles in ‘08
Less than six months after Redhook Ale Brewery Inc.’s merger with Portland’s Widmer Brothers Brewing Co., the new company has written down the value of the Widmer brand by more than a third.
Last week Craft Brewers Alliance, the company that resulted from the merger of Redhook and Widmer released its 2008 annual report. For the year, the company lost $33.3 million on $86 million in revenue.
Anheuser-Busch Cos. owns 35.8 percent of Craft Brewers outstanding stock.
Craft Brewers depends on Anheuser-Busch to distribute its products nationwide. The distribution agreement remains in place, but could change as Anheuser-Busch and its new owner, InBev SA get better acquainted and allegiances change.
“From our perspective, it’s just recognition of the significant change of where the market is at,” said Terry Michaelson, who became Craft Brewers’ CEO in November. Despite Craft Brewers Association’s disappointing 2008 earnings, the CEO said the company’s fourth quarter performance shows important progress. Merger-related activities are largely complete, and most expenses, including severance packages, have been paid.