Craft Brew Alliance Purchases Cisco, Appalachian Mountain, and Wynwood Brewing

Discussion in 'Beer News & Releases' started by LeRose, Oct 10, 2018.

  1. LeRose

    LeRose Meyvn (1,333) Nov 24, 2011 Massachusetts
    Premium

    Craft Brew Alliance (CBA) has purchased Cisco Brewers (MA), Appalachian Mountain Brewery (NC), and Wynwood Brewing (FL).
    https://www.brewbound.com/news/2018...ers-craft-brew-alliance-buys-3-beer-companies
     
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  2. jmdrpi

    jmdrpi Poo-Bah (5,306) Dec 11, 2008 Pennsylvania

    The article also raises this:
     
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  3. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,712) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Premium

    FWIW in 2017 ABI ‘announced’ they are done purchasing independent breweries:

    “One aspect of the announcement that was largely ignored, however, distills what a lot of craft beer fans have wanted to hear all along: AB InBev isn’t going to purchase any more independent breweries.

    “Our plate’s full,” Felipe Szpigel, The High End president, told Forbes writer Tara Nurin. “We have 10 amazing craft partners. Our focus is going to be organic.”

    https://vinepair.com/articles/ab-inbev-brewery-purchases/

    Needless to say but in life (including business life) the only constant is change.

    If some bean counter at ABI ‘runs the numbers’ and a purchase of CBW 19 or so million outstanding shares for $24.50 represents a ‘good deal’ and the ABI management folks decide they are now willing to increase their presence in the craft beer market via acquisition then who knows what might happen here?

    Cheers!
     
  4. Brewday

    Brewday Initiate (118) Dec 25, 2015 New York

    I had some of the beers from Appalachian Mountain and would buy them again. Hopefully they won't change their recipes but it wouldn't surprise me if it happens.
     
  5. lateralusbeer

    lateralusbeer Initiate (161) Jun 18, 2014 North Carolina
    Trader

    They're barely even a brewery at this point. All their beer is made in New Hampshire and they have a little brewpub here in Boone.
     
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  6. ManBearPat

    ManBearPat Devotee (422) Dec 2, 2014 Colorado

    I suppose that's still technically the Appalachians though, right??!?

    Anyway- love the Long Leaf IPA... don't get to have it outside of visits to family out there, but always on my short list of beers to get ahold of.
     
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  7. Ahonky

    Ahonky Initiate (131) Feb 13, 2018 New York

    Why wouldn't you be surprised? What acquired brands have dropped in quality?
     
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  8. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (868) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
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    Which brands from breweries bought by Big Beer do you think have dropped in quality?
     
  9. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (5,587) Sep 24, 2007 Washington
    Trader

    Go back to the Steve Luke thread and see what he said about Space Dust.
     
  10. Ranbot

    Ranbot Zealot (545) Nov 27, 2006 Pennsylvania

    CBA's current stock price is $16-$17 per share, so $24.50 would seem to me to be a very premium price, particularly if the current bear market continues.

    How do you feel about contract brewing? Because this would seem similar, except everything stays within the CBA company/network.
     
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  11. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (868) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
    Premium Trader

    Interviewer: "What do you think about Space Dust since you've left Elysian?"

    Steve Luke: "Fuck ABInBev. They don't even brew the real Space Dust any more. WE brew the REAL Space Dust, man, even though we can't call it that anymore. Also, Fuck ABInBev."

    Interviewer: "What did they do to change it? Have those changes made it a better or worse beer, in your opinion, and why?"

    Steve Luke: "Fuck ABInBev"

    Interviewer: "That's . . . umm . . . great, but that doesn't really answer the question."

    Steve Luke: "Fuck ABInBev, man. Fuck 'em."

    Interviewer: "OooooooKay"
     
  12. Alexmc2

    Alexmc2 Aspirant (240) Jul 29, 2006 Massachusetts

    Haha - It totally did change though. I saw the brew logs back when I worked there and they were dialing in recipes on the larger systems at the AB breweries. Not saying it was better/worse, just different in terms of grain bill and hops. Better/Worse is somewhat subjective. Every employee I know could taste the difference when Space Dust was moved from Seattle production. If they'll admit that now depends on if they still work for AB...

    All the craft recipes had code names associated with them - so like Elysian Immortal IPA was "Project Zeus" while they worked on it.
     
  13. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,712) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Premium

    Was the motivation for those differences due to the difference in brewhouses? In other words did they make changes in ingredients so that the resulting beer would be a closer match to how the beer tasted at the Seattle brewery?

    Or were the changes simply due to economics?

    Cheers!

    @Peter_Wolfe
     
  14. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (868) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
    Premium Trader

    I wouldn't doubt that the beer did change. I don't remember ever drinking Space Dust, though I certainly could have and just not remembered doing it, so I wouldn't be the guy to ask. Just wondering if that change was a negative one, or if it was more of a lateral shift where the beer was different but no less good.
     
  15. Brewday

    Brewday Initiate (118) Dec 25, 2015 New York

    Not sure if it dropped in quality but i didn't like the Goose island Oktoberfest and i usually like most of their brews. If had a weird flavor.
     
  16. Brewday

    Brewday Initiate (118) Dec 25, 2015 New York

    That's weird because i bought it in Va or NC. Can't remember.
     
  17. BayAreaJoe

    BayAreaJoe Defender (603) Nov 23, 2017 California
    Trader

    CBA has already been brewing and distributing these breweries' beers for years.
     
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  18. Alexmc2

    Alexmc2 Aspirant (240) Jul 29, 2006 Massachusetts

    My understanding was it was changed to accommodate the different brewing system and batch scale/size increases. It was always an expensive beer to brew in terms of ingredients - but the unit sale price was also high, so nobody really raised an eyebrow.

    10 Barrel Joe was actually more expensive due to the hops used, but less profitable because it was line priced with other 10 Barrel offerings. Bottom line is that, at least when I was there, they weren't cheapening the brews for the sake of saving a couple pennies per barrel. They wanted to decrease costs by moving production, but they wanted taste to stay as close as they possibly could get to the original version.
     
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  19. Alexmc2

    Alexmc2 Aspirant (240) Jul 29, 2006 Massachusetts

    For me personally, Space Dust was a neutral to slightly negative change. Just seemed slightly muted in terms of hop character. But the difference was comparable to having a beer on draft or bottle, extremely subtle. Other beers that got moved I actually think got better... So personal preference.
     
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  20. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (868) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
    Premium Trader

    Space Dust :: A Totally Nebular IPA. Great Western premium two-row, combined with c-15 and Dextri-Pils, give this beer a bright and galactic Milky Way hue. The hopping is pure starglow energy, with Chinook to bitter and late and dry additions of Citra and Amarillo. Space Dust is out of this world, with 62 IBU.

    This IPA was formally known as Sam named after its hops; simcoe, amarillo and mosaic, but we were told this would be a trademark issue with a large craft brewery out of the north-east, so we had to change it. We cycled though a bunch of generic names; Bob, Tom, Dick, Dan, Carl, Frank until we finally arrived on the perfect name for this IPA...Joe.

    I could definitely see Simcoe, Amarillo, and Mosaic being more expensive than Chinook, Amarillo, and Citra, but none of those hops are difficult to get if you're a big brewery with a contract and economies of scale are a real concern for breweries like Elysian post-buyout.
     
  21. Ahonky

    Ahonky Initiate (131) Feb 13, 2018 New York

    Hi. Thank brew, IMO, was never good, and indeed had an off note
     
  22. Ahonky

    Ahonky Initiate (131) Feb 13, 2018 New York

    I don't think this was to me - as I don't believe any have. I would Blue Point has gotten dramatically better
     
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  23. Alexmc2

    Alexmc2 Aspirant (240) Jul 29, 2006 Massachusetts

    The thing about the hops (initially after the buyout - sub 12 months in) is that they didn't have the contacts for those hops post acquisition at the scale required. Nor did they have them just growing around their own hop farm at Elk Mountain. So the hops had to be purchased on the spot market since those contracts weren't in place for the varieties needed. I'm sure costs have dropped substantially by now though.
     
  24. Jason

    Jason Founder (8,161) Aug 23, 1996 Massachusetts
    Staff

    I have updated note on all three to reflect their new ownership.

    "Owned by Craft Brew Alliance. Anheuser-Busch Inbev owns 31.5% of Craft Brew Alliance."
     
  25. DISKORD

    DISKORD Aspirant (212) Feb 28, 2017 North Carolina

    Yeah, so much for "Craft Brew Alliance". Pretty much defeats the purpose.
     
  26. Jason

    Jason Founder (8,161) Aug 23, 1996 Massachusetts
    Staff

    Goose Island beers that are brewed out of Baldwinsville, NY are just plain awful.
     
  27. Boomer4ES

    Boomer4ES Disciple (300) Jan 31, 2012 North Carolina

    Barely a brewery? What does that even mean? Their four core beers are produced at a CBA facility, and they are as good as they ever were. EVERY other beer, of which there are many, and all of their cider is produced in Boone and they continue to innovate and put out fantastic offerings of better quality than the vast majority of other breweries in the state. Maybe that's not saying much since the beer scene in NC is lackluster at best, but AMB has always been and continues to be a severely underrated bright spot.
     
  28. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (868) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
    Premium Trader

    How so?
     
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  29. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (5,587) Sep 24, 2007 Washington
    Trader

    This is the first time I've seen this point of view posted on BA. Carolinians seem pretty proud of their overall scene. And the Asheville folks, well....
     
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  30. Brewday

    Brewday Initiate (118) Dec 25, 2015 New York

    Have you been to Wilmington. I liked the beers from several Brewery's there.
     
  31. Boomer4ES

    Boomer4ES Disciple (300) Jan 31, 2012 North Carolina

    Carolinians are proud of the scene here, and that is what's sad. The beers of actual quality in this state are few and far between. Even the more reputable breweries are making more mediocre or worse beers than good ones. I, for one, am happy that we have as much outside distribution as we do, because the NC stuff has a LONG way to go. I never thought I would be saying this, but my home state of Indiana is making better beer as a whole than what I can find here.
     
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  32. Boomer4ES

    Boomer4ES Disciple (300) Jan 31, 2012 North Carolina

    The only stuff I have had from Wilmington is the hazy, juicy stuff that Wilmington Brewing is putting out. I can't honestly say that it's terrible, but my dollars are certainly better spent elsewhere. If I'm going to be drinking anything that says IPA on the can, it's going to be clear and taste like hops, not fruit and wheat.
     
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  33. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (5,587) Sep 24, 2007 Washington
    Trader

    As it happens, over the last couple months, I've had the chance to have a bunch of NC brews. And, overall, of what I've had, Cackalacky compares well to any other region. Eh, strokes for folks, and all that, but, maybe, look at your local/regional stuff with a fresh eye.
     
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  34. Peter_Wolfe

    Peter_Wolfe Initiate (88) Jul 5, 2013 Oregon

    @JackHorzempa

    I would agree with the above, though I don't know Alex. I would add that part of the motivation for moving some of the Elysian/10 Barrel production to a big brewery isn't just cost savings, it's also freeing up cellar capacity at the original breweries for new things they want to do.

    For what it's worth, getting the hop aroma/amplitude to match the original craft breweries is an ongoing project, with at least three people working pretty much full time on it. We designed some pretty innovative dry hopping systems that didn't work as well in practice as we thought they would (they looked awesome on a whiteboard). The kinks continue to get worked out, and though I've stepped away from that aspect of the project (dry hopping system design) they have some very bright people working on who are passionate about hop aroma. I'm actually helping them with some Joe IPA pilot brewing right now because we suspect part of the flavor matching hurdle might be a previously overlooked water chemistry issue.

    Since it's one of my favorite local beers, I drink Joe at the pub in Bend all the time (the stuff that's made at the original 10 Barrel Brewery), and I can tell a difference compared to the AB brewery. It's not massive, but there's a difference. I have confidence that they'll dial it in and match it, and we've learned a lot along the way.
     
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  35. lateralusbeer

    lateralusbeer Initiate (161) Jun 18, 2014 North Carolina
    Trader

    That's because it's so painfully incorrect.
     
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  36. lateralusbeer

    lateralusbeer Initiate (161) Jun 18, 2014 North Carolina
    Trader

    Out of morbid curiosity, who in your opinion are the truly great NC breweries, and which ones are overrated?
     
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  37. ManBearPat

    ManBearPat Devotee (422) Dec 2, 2014 Colorado

    Yeah I’m interested too...
    for my personal taste, NC is a top 5 beer state. Maybe its just because my brother sends me the fire, aaaand a lot of it is evidently shelfie stuff.
     
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  38. BiddzzBA

    BiddzzBA Initiate (26) Jan 26, 2018 North Carolina
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    Wicked Weed is a shadow of its former quality.
     
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  39. BiddzzBA

    BiddzzBA Initiate (26) Jan 26, 2018 North Carolina
    Trader

    Dumbest thing I've read all week.
     
  40. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (868) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
    Premium Trader

    I'll have to trust you on that.