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Lagunitas sells share to Heineken

Lagunitas1The craft beer world seems more and more to be filled with acquisitions and mergers. From ABInbev’s procurement of such luminaries as Goose Island and Elysian to Miller/Coors’ grab of a minority stake in Athens, Ga. brewer Terrapin Beer Company, craft beer is becoming a bottom line boost for traditional macro breweries. The latest partnership is that of Dutch beer giant Heineken and California’s Lagunitas Brewing Company.

“This venture will create a way for Lagunitas to help Heineken’s global distribution network participate in the growing craft beer category,” Magee said in a press release. “This alliance with the world’s most international brewer represents a profound victory for American craft. It will open doors that had previously been shut and bring the U.S. craft beer vibe to communities all over the world.”

The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year with Heineken gaining a 50% share of the craft brewery. Lagunitas founder and owner Tony Magee will retain control as CEO of the brewery.

In a prepared statement, Magee said the deal would help Lagunitas build its brand globally; reaching parts of the world that other U.S. craft brands haven’t yet tapped. With global demand for American craft beers reaching new heights, this strategy could help catapult the brand onto the world stage.

In 2014 alone, American craft beer export volume was up by 35.7% for a total of $99.7 million, according to the Brewers Association, the trade group for American independent craft brewers.

In an article on SFGate.com, Magee insists that the merger will not change the character of the traditionally non-traditional company.

“We are what we are,” said Magee in the SFGate article, noting that Lagunitas approached Heineken about the deal, not the other way around. “Achieving scale doesn’t change things unless you allow it to change you.”

 
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Posted by on September 9, 2015 in Beer News

 

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Lagunitas Brewing Co. featured at Publix Aprons Cooking School beer dinner

lagunitaslogoFounded in 1993 by Tony Magee, Lagunitas Brewing Company started in its namesake city in California but quickly outgrew its rural location and moved to Petaluma. Currently rated as the fifth top-selling craft beer brewery in North America, Lagunitas is also known for its irreverent beer names and the stories that go along with them. On Friday, May 1, 2015, Publix Aprons Cooking School hosts the storied brewery for a beer dinner that pairs the iconic brews with delicious dishes.

For its first decade of life, Lagunitas was a sleepy producer of regional craft beer, little known outside of its local area. But, by the mid-2000s, the California brewery had begun to branch out to become one of the fastest-growing craft breweries in the United States. Output rose from 27,ooo barrels in 2004 to an astounding 106,000 in 2010. As demand rose, Magee began to look towards expansion again. So, in April of 2012, he announced that his brewery would build a brewery in Chicago with a capacity of 600,000 barrels annually. Just two years later, the brewery began production.

A penchant for sarcasm led Magee to name many of his beers irreverently, perhaps most noteworthy is Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale. On what is now known in California beer culture as the 2005 St Patrick’s Day Massacre, Lagunitas was targeted and shut down by the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC). The shut-down stemmed from a loose weekly party held every Thursday at 4:20 in the afternoon. The party featured discounted beer, blues and, for some attendees including Lagunitas “Beer Weasel” and marketing director, Ron Lindenbusch. On the fateful day of the massacre, Lindenbusch was arrested by ABC agents who had infiltrated the party in hopes of catching the brewery in illegal activity. They succeeded. The resulting investigation found the brewery guilty of operating a “Disorderly House” and shut them down with a 20-day suspension of their liquor license.

In typical sarcastic fashion, the brewery’s website describes the incident, “We did the crime. We did the time. We got the bragging rights.”

At the Publix Lagunitas beer dinner you can expect to hear a few of the stories surrounding the beer names as well as more about the brewery and its scrappy beginnings. You can also expect Chef Tony Charbonette and his cast of entertaining chefs to demonstrate how they create the delightful dishes created for the dinner as they serve them for your enjoyment.

A partial menu for the event includes:

  • Lagunitas Pils paired with Steamed Mussel Frites (Beer Steamed Mussels, Fennel Butter and Crispy Fries)
  • Lagunitas Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ paired with Kung Pao Style Chicken Wings
  • Lagunitas IPA paired with Spicy Caveman Porterhouse Steak and Poblano Pan-Fry

Tickets for the event are available by calling 904-262-4187 and cost $45 each. But, according to a Twitter posting by Chef Tony, if you act quickly, you can take advantage of a buy-one-get-one-free offer on tickets.

For more on this blog about Lagunitas read: European Street Taps New Lagunitas Brew

 
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Posted by on April 28, 2015 in Beer Dinner

 

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