Pyramid buys Portland Brewing
Two of America’s first modern day craft brewers will soon be one. In what is easily the most important specialty beer story of 2004 and one of the biggest in the brief history of craft breweries, Washington-based Pyramid Breweries announced it will acquire the brewing and brewery-restaurant operation of Portland’s Portland Brewing. The deal will make Pyramid the third largest craft brewer on the West Coast, behind only Sierra Nevada Brewing and Redhook Ale Brewery.
As far as singular news events, this is a top ten story. It is the first acquisition of it’s kind, and displays the maturity of the category. The industry will likely see more mergers and acquisitions of this dimension in the future.
There have been other large deals, some involving the largest breweries in the country, and Pyramid CEO Martin Kelly alluded to them in a company press release. “The craft brewing business is very competitive and changes daily. To stay ahead, breweries must keep moving forward,” he said. “Some breweries have chosen to go the route of aligning themselves with large, multinational, industrial brewers. We believe that approach can stifle creativity and lead to less choice for consumers. Our approach aligns two independent Northwest breweries and retains the creativity and integrity craft brewers are known for.”