Moonlight Brewing Company, the iconic 30-year old pioneering brewery in Santa Rosa, California has taken another twist in ownership with the announcement that Patrick Rue, founder and former owner of The Bruery would buy the 50% stake in the company that is owned by Heineken.
The story begins back in June, 2016 when Tony McGee, still at the helm of Lagunitas Brewing Company a year after Heineken purchased 50% of Lagunitas, announced that Lagunitas had purchased a stake in three breweries; Southend Brewery and Smokehouse in Charleston, S.C., Independence Brewing Co. in Austin, Texas, and Moonlight Brewing. The idea was that Lagunitas could help bolster the three much smaller breweries through shared resources, probably not something that Heineken cared much about, but had little influence in the decision with a 50% ownership stake.
One year later in May, 2017 it was announced that Heineken was taking full ownership of Lagunitas by buying the remaining 50% of the company. Tony McGee left the company, leaving Moonlight owner and founder Brian Hunt with a partner he never anticipated.
Enter Patrick Rue who sold a majority stake in The Bruery to a private equity firm in 2017 and moved north to start Erosion, an innovative Sonoma County wine company that packages all its wines in cans. Brian was on the hunt for someone who shared his passion in the creative and innovative side of craft brewing and who could also assume day-to-day operations so Brian could mostly retire.
A happy ending to the story for all.