Our sincerest apologies to all craft loyalists; one of your favorites has sold out to go global. It was reported today that Heineken, the world’s second largest brewer, will purchase 50% of the Petaluma California-based brewery and assist the Lagunitas brand in its efforts to expand overseas, already having presences in Britain, Japan, Sweden and Canada. Tom McCormick, executive director of the California Craft Brewers Assn. said the deal could be the biggest in the craft brewing industry to date. It is expected to close in Q4 this year.
The craft beer faithful have begun to react on social media. Below are just a few samples of the Twitter reaction to today’s news. There will be more to come as word of the announcement came at an awkward time of day, not during peek social media time.
— The Perfect Pour (@PerfectPourPod) September 8, 2015
— Christopher Rogers (@CMRforall) September 9, 2015
Technically, Lagunitas – now America’s fifth largest – will no longer be a craft brewer after the transaction is completed. The Brewers Association has said that in order to be a craft brewer, a brewery must be independent, meaning:
Less than 25 percent of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by an alcoholic beverage industry member that is not itself a craft brewer.
Being that Heineken can only reminisce about being a craft brewer, Lagunitas will be half macro. This is sure to give the beer maker, with a popular brewing facility and taproom in Chicago, a black eye in the realm of beer snob chatter on the Internet.
Now That Lagunitas is Technically No Longer Craft Beer, Will You Still Drink It?
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