In one of the largest deals in craft brewing history, it was announced today that Dutch brewing company Heineken has bought a 50% stake in Lagunitas Brewing Company.
It appears to be a similar deal to the recent Firestone Walker Brewing Company merger with Flemish-family owned brewery Duvel Moortgat. There will likely be little change to the company operations, with Lagunitas founder Tony McGee continuing to run the Lagunitas operations as executive chairman.
The deal will allow Lagunitas, one of the fastest growing craft breweries in the country, to utilize Heineken’s global production and distribution network. This is what makes this deal so big. Although there have many mergers and acquisitions announced in the last few years, with many more certain to come, this deal propels an American craft brewer into the global market with both worldwide production and distribution.
It is a game-changer for craft beer.