Firestone Walker Brewing Company and Duvel Moortgat combine operations

Discussion in 'Beer News & Releases' started by gyoungit, Jul 17, 2015.

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  1. gyoungit

    gyoungit Initiate (0) Nov 15, 2014 New Mexico

    July 16, 2015 – Kansas City, Mo., & Paso Robles, Ca. – In an agreement signed earlier this week, Firestone Walker Brewing Company and Duvel Moortgat will combine their two companies in the USA. The California brewery will continue to operate independently in Paso Robles under its current leadership of David Walker and Adam Firestone.

    David Walker and Adam Firestone, joint founders of Firestone Walker said: “The Firestone Walker and Duvel Moortgat families have combined forces to broaden their capacity and scope as brewers. Long admirers of each other’s beers, culture and breweries, the two teams saw the perfect fit for an alliance. The partnership will allow Firestone Walker to develop our capacity across the US in a conservative and thoughtful way by consummating a life long tie with this family-owned international craft brewer, who continue their commitment to participating in the American Craft Revolution."

    “The relationship I have built with David and Adam made Firestone Walker the perfect fit for future growth,” said Michel Moortgat, CEO of Duvel Moortgat. “We share the same values; have a great mutual respect for each other’s achievements and a deeply-held belief in exceptional quality as a platform for long-term success. Bringing Firestone Walker together with Boulevard, Ommegang, Duvel and the other craft breweries in our family creates a stronger platform in the USA for us both and allows us to collaborate on brewing in different locations across the USA”

    “The most important thing that we can do for Firestone Walker is to help David and Adam manage the exponential growth that their team and their brewery is experiencing right now by providing financial and production capacity to support them,” said Simon Thorpe, President of Duvel Moortgat USA. “We are not integrating our organizations. Both Boulevard and Ommegang are also enjoying tremendous success and we still have much to do in realizing our dream for both these breweries.”

    The transaction between Duvel Moortgat and Firestone Walker is expected to close later this year. It is an agreement between two private, family-owned companies, so no financial or contractual details will be disclosed.

    About Firestone Walker Brewing Company
    Founded in 1996, Firestone Walker Brewing Company has grown to become one of the largest specialty brewers in California. Located in Paso Robles, it is known for crafting iconic pale ales and pioneering barrel-aged beers. Everything it does revolves around one goal; to make the world’s best beers. Firestone Walker distributes in 21 states. For more information, visit,facebook/firestone.walker or

    About Duvel Moortgat
    The Duvel Moortgat group, founded in Belgium in 1871, is an independent brewer of authentic specialty and craft beers. Around the world, the group is considered to be the leading producer of bottle-conditioned, high-fermentation beers, a reputation owed largely to the success of its best-selling brand Duvel.

    In the USA, Duvel Moortgat continues our belief in independent, family owned craft brewing and includes Boulevard Brewing Company in Kansas City MO and Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown NY. The company also imports its European craft brands including Duvel, Chouffe, Maredsous, De Koninck and Liefmans.

    Please see our web site for further information:

    First Beverage Group acted as financial advisor to Firestone Walker, and Spencer Fane Britt & Browne provided legal counsel. ING acted as financial advisor to Duvel Moortgat, and McDermott Will & Emery provided legal counsel.


  2. Skellbop

    Skellbop Defender (656) Feb 26, 2015 New York

    Any that means more Parabola for NYC is ok in my books!
    seedyone and JC333 like this.
  3. Pahn

    Pahn Initiate (0) Dec 2, 2009 New York

    sounds like win-win to me. granted, any article about such a merger is tl;dr for me.

    any objections from anyone? duvel totally fine with me. firestone walker awesome. pump more money into both of them, i'm down.
    seedyone, Theniz, Buschyfor3 and 4 others like this.
  4. Rothobinide

    Rothobinide Initiate (0) Jun 28, 2014 California

    Not entirely sure what their announcement meant. Seemed a bit vague
    mikeburd1128, MrDave, drtth and 3 others like this.
  5. tylerstravis

    tylerstravis Initiate (0) Feb 14, 2014 Colorado

    I hope they can keep the quality up. We've seen the hit before with small mergers like Alpine/Green Flash.
    eppie82 and Fox82791 like this.
  6. gyoungit

    gyoungit Initiate (0) Nov 15, 2014 New Mexico

    Agreed I can see how this is only a positive. Firestone is such a large operation currently, that even with expansion the quality of beer shouldn't suffer at all.
    Premo88 likes this.
  7. Fox82791

    Fox82791 Initiate (0) Jun 20, 2014 New York

    Agreed, do they just have more funding from Duvel?
  8. Ri0

    Ri0 Initiate (0) Jul 1, 2012 Wisconsin

    So they were bought by Duvel? Does this mean national distro?
    Keffa and BottleCaps80 like this.
  9. Fox82791

    Fox82791 Initiate (0) Jun 20, 2014 New York

    If this means More of their proprietors series in Buffalo , I'm ok with it. Ultimately comes down to maintaining their quality
    Bosoxfan20 and DerelictPI like this.
  10. gatheredwaters

    gatheredwaters Initiate (0) May 1, 2014 Vermont

  11. bwelch21

    bwelch21 Initiate (0) Nov 5, 2014 Wisconsin

    First Boulevard, now FW.
    Cameron_como likes this.

    WCKDVBZ Meyvn (1,087) May 9, 2014 South Carolina

    I think that means SC will get FW.
    Lonestar9 likes this.

    WCKDVBZ Meyvn (1,087) May 9, 2014 South Carolina

    I won't have to trade for Stickee Monkee now.
    Loganyoung and Ri0 like this.
  14. gyoungit

    gyoungit Initiate (0) Nov 15, 2014 New Mexico

    I know that NM gets Duvel. So I'm hoping that we will hopefully see FW in the near future
    ONovoMexicano likes this.
  15. LambicKing

    LambicKing Initiate (0) Apr 13, 2011 Germany

    Don't forget Ommegang.
  16. LambicPentameter

    LambicPentameter Initiate (0) Aug 29, 2012 Nebraska

    Good news as far as I'm concerned. Duvel's purchase of Ommegang and Boulevard has seemingly ushered in great things for each company. I have no doubt it will be the same with Firestone Walker.

    As big brewing companies like MillerCoors and ABInBev continue to grow their market share with acquisitions, this is one way in which brewers can fight back. By consolidating with other independent/family-owned brewers for whom product integrity and culture matter.

    If you read John McDonald's open letter from the Boulevard announcement, you could see that the decision to sell to Duvel Moortgat was coming from the right place. It wasn't about cashing in. It was about growing his brand in a way that maintained integrity and that would allow it to continue after he was gone at the hands of a company who would be stewards of its legacy.
  17. Evil_Emery

    Evil_Emery Initiate (0) Nov 14, 2014 California

    If I had to bet...
    WCKDVBZ likes this.
  18. MarshallBirdhouse

    MarshallBirdhouse Disciple (397) Feb 19, 2013 South Carolina

    Does this finally mean Double Jack in Kentucky?
    semibaked likes this.
  19. beersandmiles

    beersandmiles Initiate (0) Jun 16, 2015 California

    I'm a bit conflicted here. I see a lot of benefit from this for FW. This allows them to expand their distribution and production with a bit more funding. On the other hand it bothers me because these large breweries keep buying up successful micros. It almost reminds me of a sort of Disney kind of thing with them owning everything. Is this the future of craft beer?
    chippo33 and chrismann65 like this.
  20. beersandmiles

    beersandmiles Initiate (0) Jun 16, 2015 California

    Agreed. Their quality has not declined either and I was happy to see them in Ohio!
    foundersfan1 likes this.
  21. drtth

    drtth Initiate (0) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    I'd been wondering who the Duvel Moortgat third US brewery "partner" would be. Makes good sense as now the entire family of companies has a member in the NorthEast (Ommegang), in the mid-west (Boulevard) and now in the west (Firestone Walker). On the whole, distribution will get better. Production of beers will grow. Collaborative efforts between the different breweries will occur more often. And if history is any guide, quality will remain the same or get better.

    Edit: If Duvel Moortgat was still a publicly traded company I'd probably dump every spare penny into their stock.
    #21 drtth, Jul 17, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2015
  22. drtth

    drtth Initiate (0) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Do you get Duvel or Ommegang or Boulevard in Kentucky? If so, probably yes.
  23. HattedClassic

    HattedClassic Poo-Bah (2,863) Nov 23, 2009 Virginia

    I doubt it. I'm pretty sure we'll still have the local brewpub interested in regional distribution instead of world domination to go to every once and a while.
    the_trystero likes this.
  24. Dope

    Dope Poo-Bah (2,868) Oct 5, 2010 Massachusetts

    That's cool. I wonder if craft beer company parents will be the way of the future. May be a good way to compete with the macro giants while preserving the integrity of craft beer? Just a thought.

  25. drtth

    drtth Initiate (0) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    No need to worry. History shows that Duvel Moortgat bought Leifmans and then saved the company and bought Goudenband back to life. When they acquired full ownership of Ommegang they began a rebranding and modernization plan. When they bought Boulevard the distribution was expanded significantly and nothing changed vis a vis quality. Expect their "partnership" with FW to bring only good things for all.

    So basically, Duvel Moortgat are not exactly a big company or the type of organization to damage others since they produce several high quality beers of their own and the quality of Duvel has not declined over the years I've had access to it.
  26. nbrio85

    nbrio85 Initiate (0) Apr 18, 2015 Missouri

    Duvel is a good company to partner with. I was skeptical when they bought out most shares of Boulevard but they are really treating the brand VERY well and keeping Boulevard a ginormous part of Kansas City's civic identity, which was our number one concern! I am very excited for the future of Firestone's brand!!! CHEERS!!
  27. drtth

    drtth Initiate (0) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    They now have access to the Duvel Moortgat, Ommegang and Boulevard distribution network. There will be an infusion of cash to allow FW expansion, etc.
    Fox82791 and Joenajera like this.
  28. semibaked

    semibaked Zealot (579) Mar 27, 2007 Illinois

    All I got to say is I hope is FW and Boulevard will hit Kentucky.
    foundersfan1 and Buschyfor3 like this.
  29. LambicPentameter

    LambicPentameter Initiate (0) Aug 29, 2012 Nebraska

    Exactly; it's not like Duvel Moortgat is some brewing giant buying up tiny little shops. Boulevard was ranked 12th in the Brewers Association's top breweries of 2012. And Firestone Walker was ranked 16th in the 2014 list.

    These are partnerships in the truest sense of the word--Duvel is buying them, not just to gain market share, but because of the individual areas of expertise these American breweries bring. It really is a win win (win win).
  30. JrGtr

    JrGtr Devotee (427) Apr 13, 2006 Massachusetts

    Judging by history, I would say there's no need to worry. With the acquisitions (partnerships) of Ommegang and Boulevard, there has been no lapse in quality; on the contrary, if anything, the consistency is better than before.
    luwak, JLaw55, tylerstravis and 2 others like this.
  31. drtth

    drtth Initiate (0) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Shortly after the Boulevard "acquisition" their beers began showing up in PA for the first time. From my perspective, access to Tank 7 and the Sixth Glass are major wins for customers. I've already done in at least 2 cases of Tank 7. :-)
  32. cookiequiz

    cookiequiz Initiate (0) Apr 15, 2013 California

    That would be nice. But I think we're a ways off from that. Duvel in 2013 had estimated revenue of $270 million—AB reported $24 billion recently, i.e. 100x.

    In the grand scheme of beer, I think this is really the little guy buying the tiny guy.
  33. mctizzz

    mctizzz Initiate (0) Dec 23, 2010 California

    Let's hope Duvel never gets bought out...
    Loganyoung, papat444, cjgiant and 7 others like this.
  34. mctizzz

    mctizzz Initiate (0) Dec 23, 2010 California

    *That's less than 10X
  35. LambicPentameter

    LambicPentameter Initiate (0) Aug 29, 2012 Nebraska

    Fine, rub it in.

    Now they both need to get their asses up here to Michigan. I can't be driving to Toledo every time I need a case of Tank 7.
  36. brureview

    brureview Poo-Bah (2,316) Jan 20, 2012 Massachusetts

  37. cookiequiz

    cookiequiz Initiate (0) Apr 15, 2013 California

    Hmm, I think it's 88.89x.

    Wearing too many glasses? :confused: :stuck_out_tongue:

    I did make a typo at first.
  38. Nominoe

    Nominoe Initiate (0) Sep 7, 2014 California

    10x $270 millon would be $2.7 billion.

    It's about 100x.
  39. drtth

    drtth Initiate (0) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Not to worry, my next case of a Saison will be the GI Sofie as we have family coming to visit and they prefer Sofie. :slight_smile:

    On a different note, I'd been wondering if you were in A2 yet. You can console yourself with all that Jolly Pumpkin you have access to that the rest of us don't have... (Actually I'm fibbing we do get Jolly Pumpkin here in PA but I wanted to try and help you feel a wee bit better. :-))
    #39 drtth, Jul 17, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2015
    LambicPentameter likes this.
  40. mctizzz

    mctizzz Initiate (0) Dec 23, 2010 California

    I thought I saw an extra decimal point, ignore my stupidity please.
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