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New Belgium Brewing Sells To International Conglomerate

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New Belgium Brewing, Colorado’s largest craft brewery, announces sale to international beer conglomerate

I could have done without the exclamation point at the end of her statement. A good example of where someone with PR skills could have helped.

Quote

“We will no longer be employee owned and it would be easy to see that as a drawback,” Jordan wrote in her letter. “But here’s another way to look at it … Over the life of our (employee stock ownership plan), including this transaction, the total amount paid to current and former employees will be nearly $190 million. We will have helped a significant number of people realize the upside of having equity in something, being a part of the American Dream!”

I understand selling a business. Who knows, I might sell FBG one day. But if I did, I'd hope I'd be a little less tone deaf. 

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I would guess the exclamation point accurately represents the mood of the 300+ employees who are getting a $100k bonus this holiday season.  Beer nerds are probably complaining about this, but I expect the ESOP votes will be close to 100% in favor of the deal. 

 

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7 minutes ago, CletiusMaximus said:

I would guess the exclamation point accurately represents the mood of the 300+ employees who are getting a $100k bonus this holiday season.  Beer nerds are probably complaining about this, but I expect the ESOP votes will be close to 100% in favor of the deal. 

 

I don't know if the employees are happy or not. In my experience, it's pretty rare for people to be super excited when the company they've grown up with sells to an international conglomerate. 

I'd always liked New Belgium but won't be buying anymore. I'd rather spend my money with an Independent. They have a great facility near me in Asheville. 

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Do you know if the employees have a choice in this or they have to hit some threshold of approval in order for the sale to go through?

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4 minutes ago, Joe Bryant said:

Do you know if the employees have a choice in this or they have to hit some threshold of approval in order for the sale to go through?

All depends on how the ESOP is setup.

I work for an employee owned company where ownership is divided up via an Employee Stock Ownership Plan. I get a vote in who sits on the Board. I haven’t actually really looked into it, but I assume that it’s structured in a way where the founder of the company, family, and certain others have certain percentages or certain classes of stock that give them plenty of sway to do what they really want to do.

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1 minute ago, GroveDiesel said:

All depends on how the ESOP is setup.

I work for an employee owned company where ownership is divided up via an Employee Stock Ownership Plan. I get a vote in who sits on the Board. I haven’t actually really looked into it, but I assume that it’s structured in a way where the founder of the company, family, and certain others have certain percentages or certain classes of stock that give them plenty of sway to do what they really want to do.

That's how I'd expect it to be.

The way I'm reading her letter, it sounds like the employees were informed of this. Not given a say. But I don't know that. Sound like @CletiusMaximus may have an insight talking about the ESOP vote. I'd be interested to hear and see a link. 

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What the's problem? Sounds like the majority of them are keeping their jobs too:

"None of those employees — nor any of the company’s taprooms or breweries in Fort Collins, Denver and Asheville — will be affected by the sale, Fechheimer said. He and his “leadership team” will stay in their positions as well."

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2 minutes ago, eoMMan said:

What the's problem? Sounds like the majority of them are keeping their jobs too:

"None of those employees — nor any of the company’s taprooms or breweries in Fort Collins, Denver and Asheville — will be affected by the sale, Fechheimer said. He and his “leadership team” will stay in their positions as well."

To be fair, most all sales press releases read something like that. 

Edited by Joe Bryant

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1 minute ago, Joe Bryant said:

Have you ever seen a sale PR statement that didn't read like that?

No, but honestly, I haven't seen many sale PR statements where an ESOP was involved. I think she meant well and was just trying to turn it positive.

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1 hour ago, Joe Bryant said:

I don't know if the employees are happy or not. In my experience, it's pretty rare for people to be super excited when the company they've grown up with sells to an international conglomerate. 

I'd always liked New Belgium but won't be buying anymore. I'd rather spend my money with an Independent. They have a great facility near me in Asheville. 

I have a different experience than yours in my career of buying and selling companies.  In a publicly held company, in my opinion your statement would hold more true.  But in a private company, many people come on board at startup or thereafter with the purpose of scoring this kind of payday.   There are only two ways that these employees will see monetary value for their shares - via an IPO or by this kind of sale.  Otherwise they’re locked in with no value.

Edited by krista4
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8 minutes ago, eoMMan said:

I think she meant well and was just trying to turn it positive.

I'm sure that's the case. There's also a little bit of history there.

This was told to me by a longtime employee at their facility in Asheville.

New Belgium has been fiercely proud of being employee owned for a while. It's the first thing they tell you when you take the tour.

Years ago, before they were employee owned, they were a much smaller company and they had an annual Employee Meeting in Ft. Collins where every employee in the company from the CEO to the lowest guy on the payroll attended.

There had been rumors about the company selling. 

Every single employee was in the room for a banquet type dinner and the mood was super tense. They were sure bad news was coming.

Jordan got up to speak and you could hear a pin drop.

She said, "I know you have been hearing rumblings about a change in ownership."

Room stirred.

Then she said, "Those rumor are true". 

Guy said every bit of air was sucked out of the room. You could hear the disappointment.

Then she said, there's an envelope at your placemat. Open it up and you will see the new owners of the company.

They opened the envelopes and each person had a stock certificate with their name on it. They were now owners. 

He said the room exploded. Said it was legit the coolest moment of his life.

That was then.

I'd be interested in how they're doing with that now. 

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9 minutes ago, Joe Bryant said:

That's how I'd expect it to be.

The way I'm reading her letter, it sounds like the employees were informed of this. Not given a say. But I don't know that. Sound like @CletiusMaximus may have an insight talking about the ESOP vote. I'd be interested to hear and see a link. 

They have a vote, but generally founders and top-level execs have direct holdings or convertible preferred that give them more votes and would be enough without the rank-and-file.  And it’s unlikely this deal would have been signed and announced if the acquiror didn’t have those votes locked in.

8 minutes ago, Joe Bryant said:

To be fair, most all sales press releases read something like that. 

The acquiror is a public company, and while I don’t know the Aussie laws on disclosure, in the US this release couldn’t be made with such a bold statement (basically no layoffs) if untrue.  They might initially couch it as “looking at synergies” or some such, but they wouldn’t say they weren’t doing it.

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14 minutes ago, Joe Bryant said:

That's how I'd expect it to be.

The way I'm reading her letter, it sounds like the employees were informed of this. Not given a say. But I don't know that. Sound like @CletiusMaximus may have an insight talking about the ESOP vote. I'd be interested to hear and see a link. 

The reports I read all say the sale is subject to shareholder approval and that the company is entirely owned by the esop. The family might have a controlling stake, or near enough to be certain it will close. 

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Just now, krista4 said:

They have a vote, but generally founders and top-level execs have direct holdings or convertible preferred that give them more votes and would be enough without the rank-and-file.  And it’s unlikely this deal would have been signed and announced if the acquiror didn’t have those votes locked in.

The acquiror is a public company, and while I don’t know the Aussie laws on disclosure, in the US this release couldn’t be made with such a bold statement (basically no layoffs) if untrue.  They might initially couch it as “looking at synergies” or some such, but they wouldn’t say they weren’t doing it.

For sure. I don't mean they are planning layoff and lying about it.

I'm saying most every sale like this reads the same way. Nothing will change. Same leadership. Same great product. Business as usual. 

Ballast Point had the same boilerplate:

Quote

 

Ballast Point started in 1996 as a small group of home brewers and remains dedicated to the art of making better quality craft beer. Ballast Point will continue to operate as a stand-alone company with its existing management team and employees running the day-to-day operations. The company is one of the most successful and respected craft beer companies in the country, with an expertise in brewing the most premium, highest quality award winning products, and a grassroots approach to innovation that engages beer lovers and home brewers in the process. The Ballast Point team will continue to build on its successful expansion across the U.S., and will now have access to Constellation’s strong financial position and willingness to invest in growth.

“We started this business nearly 20 years ago with a vision to produce great beer that consumers love and to do it the right way,” said Jack White, founder of Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits. “To achieve that vision, we needed to find the right partner. The team at Constellation shares our values, entrepreneurial spirit and passion for beer, and has a proven track record of helping successful premium brands reach the next level of growth and scale.”

“We believe in the vision that Jack and his team have created and we’re excited to welcome Ballast Point, one of the most respected craft brewers in the country, to the Constellation Brands family,” said Rob Sands, chief executive officer, Constellation Brands. “Along with imports, craft beer is a key driver of growth and premiumization within the beer industry, with craft doubling its share of the U.S. beer market in the last five years. Ballast Point has certainly been a key driver of that growth. Their business philosophy and entrepreneurial spirit perfectly align with our culture and we look forward to strengthening our position in the high-end beer segment with what is arguably the most premium major brand in the entire craft beer business.”

Ballast Point is on pace to sell nearly 4 million cases in calendar 2015, which would represent growth of more than 100 percent versus calendar 2014. Net sales for calendar 2015 are expected to approximate $115 million. Volume and net sales growth from calendar 2012 to calendar 2014 averaged over 80 percent. Ballast Point employs more than 500 employees, produces beer in four facilities in the San Diego, CA area, and sells its beer in over 30 states.

 

 

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4 minutes ago, Joe Bryant said:

I'm sure that's the case. There's also a little bit of history there.

This was told to me by a longtime employee at their facility in Asheville.

New Belgium has been fiercely proud of being employee owned for a while. It's the first thing they tell you when you take the tour.

Years ago, before they were employee owned, they were a much smaller company and they had an annual Employee Meeting in Ft. Collins where every employee in the company from the CEO to the lowest guy on the payroll attended.

There had been rumors about the company selling. 

Every single employee was in the room for a banquet type dinner and the mood was super tense. They were sure bad news was coming.

Jordan got up to speak and you could hear a pin drop.

She said, "I know you have been hearing rumblings about a change in ownership."

Room stirred.

Then she said, "Those rumor are true". 

Guy said every bit of air was sucked out of the room. You could hear the disappointment.

Then she said, there's an envelope at your placemat. Open it up and you will see the new owners of the company.

They opened the envelopes and each person had a stock certificate with their name on it. They were now owners. 

He said the room exploded. Said it was legit the coolest moment of his life.

That was then.

I'd be interested in how they're doing with that now. 

It’s definitely cool, but there’s a difference between their being bummed when they thought they were being sold then, and when they are now cashing out plus keeping their jobs.  Maybe I’m cynical, but I doubt most of these were excited to get a certificate to hang on their wall, but that they were happy for an opportunity to see a financial benefit.  They were never “owners” in terms of control of the company.

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Just now, Joe Bryant said:

 

I'm saying most every sale like this reads the same way. Nothing will change. Same leadership. Same great product. Business as usual. 

 

This is completely true.  :lmao: 

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2 minutes ago, krista4 said:

It’s definitely cool, but there’s a difference between their being bummed when they thought they were being sold then, and when they are now cashing out plus keeping their jobs.  Maybe I’m cynical, but I doubt most of these were excited to get a certificate to hang on their wall, but that they were happy for an opportunity to see a financial benefit.  They were never “owners” in terms of control of the company.

I've got a close friend in Charlotte who's a huge NB fan. He'll get over to the brewery in Asheville and will see how the vibe is. 

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And the beat goes on.  It feels more personal when its a company like New Belgium that was started to make better product than the big guys and we watched and cheered them on.  But we're seeing this a lot with the craft brewers now.  Their industry is in its roll up phase. The fun really starts when all the non-competes of the last few deals expire and some of the players that started these successful craft brewers can start over with some serious capital.

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1 minute ago, Ron Swanson said:

The fun really starts when all the non-competes of the last few deals expire and some of the players that started these successful craft brewers can start over with some serious capital.

This is a great point; that'll be interesting to see.

Edited by krista4

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NB was founded in 1991.  My experience with family-owned and employee-owned companies is that the old guard starts retiring, and they are often the biggest shareholders.  They need to cash out, and the company can't easily afford to buy those shares back.  That's the meaning I took from this part of the founder's press release:

Quote

At New Belgium, we’ve needed to balance the cash demands of our ESOP and selling shareholders, with the operational need for more capacity (hence the brewery in Asheville) and the need to grow our brand by reaching more beer drinkers with our brand message.  These are a lot of competing priorities and it has been difficult to do all of them as well as we’d like. As we surveyed the landscape over the last several years, we found that options to raise capital while being an independent brewer weren’t realistic for us.

She's saying they had to find a way to fund these retiring or aging shareholder buyouts.

 

 

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12 minutes ago, Ron Swanson said:

And the beat goes on.  It feels more personal when its a company like New Belgium that was started to make better product than the big guys and we watched and cheered them on.  But we're seeing this a lot with the craft brewers now.  Their industry is in its roll up phase. The fun really starts when all the non-competes of the last few deals expire and some of the players that started these successful craft brewers can start over with some serious capital.

I really thought Ballast Point and how people are seeing that now might have been the last of the big buyouts. 

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1 hour ago, Joe Bryant said:

I'd always liked New Belgium but won't be buying anymore. I'd rather spend my money with an Independent. They have a great facility near me in Asheville. 

We've discussed this in the beer thread a bit over the years.  There are many like you who won't buy a beer after an acquisition by one of the big players.  Others are just looking for the best beer at the best price, regardless of ownership.  I love supporting the local breweries in my neighborhood.  But the most important part for me is that the beer is good, and at a reasonable price.  There's a brewery/tap room a few blocks from my house that I never go to any more.  Nice guys, great location, but their beer is bad and they've never gotten it right since opening about 5 years ago (they're on at least their 3rd head brewer, bought new equipment, etc.)  I kept going back - at least a dozen times in the first 3-4 years, and finally just gave up on that place.  We have a couple other places that make good beer, but the prices are ridiculous.   $20+ to fill my growlers at the brewery tap room?  I'm happy for their success but its not something I need to support.

New Belgium was a giant, not really a brewery anyone would consider a "craft brewery" for at least the past 10 years or so.  I didn't love much of anything they made, but would buy their "Lips of Faith" side projects from time to time.  For me, this won't change a thing, but I would say that, if I liked their beer before this, I would probably continue to buy it.  Ain't nobody got time to buy crappy overpriced beer!  Sierra Nevada is very similar to NB, maybe a little bigger, but it so happens I personally love the beer SN makes and almost always have some of their stuff in the fridge, even though they are really more or less a macro.

 

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3 minutes ago, CletiusMaximus said:

We've discussed this in the beer thread a bit over the years.  There are many like you who won't buy a beer after an acquisition by one of the big players.  Others are just looking for the best beer at the best price, regardless of ownership.  I love supporting the local breweries in my neighborhood.  But the most important part for me is that the beer is good, and at a reasonable price.  There's a brewery/tap room a few blocks from my house that I never go to any more.  Nice guys, great location, but their beer is bad and they've never gotten it right since opening about 5 years ago (they're on at least their 3rd head brewer, bought new equipment, etc.)  I kept going back - at least a dozen times in the first 3-4 years, and finally just gave up on that place.  We have a couple other places that make good beer, but the prices are ridiculous.   $20+ to fill my growlers at the brewery tap room?  I'm happy for their success but its not something I need to support.

New Belgium was a giant, not really a brewery anyone would consider a "craft brewery" for at least the past 10 years or so.  I didn't love much of anything they made, but would buy their "Lips of Faith" side projects from time to time.  For me, this won't change a thing, but I would say that, if I liked their beer before this, I would probably continue to buy it.  Ain't nobody got time to buy crappy overpriced beer!  Sierra Nevada is very similar to NB, maybe a little bigger, but it so happens I personally love the beer SN makes and almost always have some of their stuff in the fridge, even though they are really more or less a macro.

 

I don't disagree. I had a connection to them as the Asheville brewery felt close to home. But I never thought the beers were exceptional but I liked them.

I'm out though and won't be buying any more. Regardless of the quality. There are just too many more great options where I can support a smaller business. 

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And i I fully admit I'm incredibly biased in favor of the small business. It's all I've ever known. Bryant Boats was a small boatbuilder. Footballguys is a rounding error compared to many we compete with.

I'm not saying I'm right. I'm just saying it's how I am. I will always cheer for the local underdog vs the international conglomerate. 

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If a payday upon company sale isn't a good thing, then what is the major benefit of a company being employee owned then?   

I'm currently working for a small company and I have no equity; whereas a few years ago I was in a similar company where many people had equity.  There is/was essentially no difference in culture, benefits, etc.  Aside from the uncertainty of new ownership, this should be a good day from New Belgium employees.

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1 hour ago, krista4 said:

I have a different experience than yours in my career of buying and selling companies.  In a publicly held company, in my opinion your statement would hold more true.  But in a private company, many people come on board at startup or thereafter with the purpose of scoring this kind of payday.   There are only two ways that these employees will see monetary value for their shares - via an IPO or by this kind is sale.  Otherwise they’re locked in with no value.

First houses, now companies?  Movin' on up!   Hell, can you buy the one I work for?  They could use a new outlook (and naan ovens, but that'd just be a bonus.)

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19 minutes ago, Brony said:

If a payday upon company sale isn't a good thing, then what is the major benefit of a company being employee owned then?   

I'm currently working for a small company and I have no equity; whereas a few years ago I was in a similar company where many people had equity.  There is/was essentially no difference in culture, benefits, etc.  Aside from the uncertainty of new ownership, this should be a good day from New Belgium employees.

I think that's where we differ. I'd call that a pretty huge thing. But again, I've never worked for anyone as an adult so I may be putting too much on that. 

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2 hours ago, Joe Bryant said:

 

New Belgium Brewing, Colorado’s largest craft brewery, announces sale to international beer conglomerate

I could have done without the exclamation point at the end of her statement. A good example of where someone with PR skills could have helped.

I understand selling a business. Who knows, I might sell FBG one day. But if I did, I'd hope I'd be a little less tone deaf. 

@Otis

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2 hours ago, Joe Bryant said:

I don't know if the employees are happy or not. In my experience, it's pretty rare for people to be super excited when the company they've grown up with sells to an international conglomerate. 

I'd always liked New Belgium but won't be buying anymore. I'd rather spend my money with an Independent. They have a great facility near me in Asheville. 

Fond memories of that place.  Bummed to hear this news.

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50 minutes ago, Joe Bryant said:

I don't disagree. I had a connection to them as the Asheville brewery felt close to home. But I never thought the beers were exceptional but I liked them.

I'm out though and won't be buying any more. Regardless of the quality. There are just too many more great options where I can support a smaller business. 

On the flip side, the best shot those folks have of not losing their job in the future is if their beer continues to sell. If everyone bails because a larger company bought them, all those little guys WILL end up losing their jobs.

It does suck though. Have a friend who worked for a mutual friend. Mutual friend sold his company with a provision that current employees were not allowed to be let go. 2 years later when that part of the agreement expired, the remaining original employees were immediately laid off with no warning. The new company had purchased mutual friend’s company solely for the client base and apparently had just considered 2 years of compensation to those employees as part of the purchase price without ever having intention of keeping them long term.

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1 hour ago, krista4 said:

They have a vote, but generally founders and top-level execs have direct holdings or convertible preferred that give them more votes and would be enough without the rank-and-file.  And it’s unlikely this deal would have been signed and announced if the acquiror didn’t have those votes locked in.

The acquiror is a public company, and while I don’t know the Aussie laws on disclosure, in the US this release couldn’t be made with such a bold statement (basically no layoffs) if untrue.  They might initially couch it as “looking at synergies” or some such, but they wouldn’t say they weren’t doing it.

Yeah, being a small guy in an employee owned company generally seems like a joke to me unless that company has a legitimate shot to go public or be sold for $$$ to a larger company. 
 

I like the company I work for, but in lieu of a 401(k) match or profit sharing contribution, we receive shares in the ESOP based on compensation. Every year they send out info for us to vote on Board members and other items, but it’s a total dog and pony show because the Founder and C-level guys hold controlling shares and will do whatever they want anyway. Frankly, I simply don’t vote because I’d rather not risk my preferences being known and potentially running afoul of those in leadership.

But the company I work for will likely never go public and is of a size that probably won’t get bought out for a large amount either. So If stuck with 100% of my company portion of my retirement money tied up in a company stock that is privately valued and non-diversified. It definitely beats getting nothing at all, but it’s not nearly the amazing thing that it’s constantly made out to be IMO.

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37 minutes ago, Joe Bryant said:

I think that's where we differ. I'd call that a pretty huge thing. But again, I've never worked for anyone as an adult so I may be putting too much on that. 

Uncertainty of new ownership is something, but highly overrated in my experience.  I've just accepted that almost all companies have a lifespan - successful ones get bought and unsuccessful ones go bust. 

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6 minutes ago, GroveDiesel said:

Yeah, being a small guy in an employee owned company generally seems like a joke to me unless that company has a legitimate shot to go public or be sold for $$$ to a larger company. 
 

I like the company I work for, but in lieu of a 401(k) match or profit sharing contribution, we receive shares in the ESOP based on compensation. Every year they send out info for us to vote on Board members and other items, but it’s a total dog and pony show because the Founder and C-level guys hold controlling shares and will do whatever they want anyway. Frankly, I simply don’t vote because I’d rather not risk my preferences being known and potentially running afoul of those in leadership.

But the company I work for will likely never go public and is of a size that probably won’t get bought out for a large amount either. So If stuck with 100% of my company portion of my retirement money tied up in a company stock that is privately valued and non-diversified. It definitely beats getting nothing at all, but it’s not nearly the amazing thing that it’s constantly made out to be IMO.

Yeah, lack of marketability is a gigantic haircut on that share value.  Agree on the "dog and pony show" part of voting, too.

I should probably mention that this year, after years of being the lawyer handling the buying and selling of companies, I found myself in the "affected employee" position where my current employer filed for an IPO but then pulled that and was sold to private equity instead.  Personally I'm thrilled to see my options and stock actually be bought out, since being able finally to monetize that is something that I had counted on and was a significant bit of compensation.  I understand well the perils of working in a PE environment, but in this particular case that won't affect me.

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Wicked Weed sold out and now their products are much more readily available and prices have come down.  From a consumer standpoint it was beneficial.  Numerous micro brew options available in Asheville.

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I don't get the assumption that this is bad for everyone. Nor why anyone would boycott just because of this development, unless something else happens or changes. Really weird decision process here. 

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4 hours ago, Joe Bryant said:

:no:

 

This looks like posturing to me. Smart negotiation tactic on your part, pretending you’re not motivated to close this deal.  

I’ll have my people draw up the paperwork.  

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10 hours ago, Joe Bryant said:

I don't disagree. I had a connection to them as the Asheville brewery felt close to home. But I never thought the beers were exceptional but I liked them.

I'm out though and won't be buying any more. Regardless of the quality. There are just too many more great options where I can support a smaller business. 

Serious question, do you feel the same way about Dogfish Head after the Boston Brewing merger or is that different because of the size of the acquiring company?

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9 hours ago, BassNBrew said:

Wicked Weed sold out and now their products are much more readily available and prices have come down.  From a consumer standpoint it was beneficial.  Numerous micro brew options available in Asheville.

My understanding is that they still really control all the production.  At least that's what a guy in Boone told me...

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11 hours ago, Joe Bryant said:

And i I fully admit I'm incredibly biased in favor of the small business. It's all I've ever known. Bryant Boats was a small boatbuilder. Footballguys is a rounding error compared to many we compete with.

I'm not saying I'm right. I'm just saying it's how I am. I will always cheer for the local underdog vs the international conglomerate. 

If you are that concerned about it, I would definitely recommend checking all the beers that you buy.

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This is one of the natural outcomes of a low to no interest rate environment.   People will buy cash flow rather than bonds.   

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12 hours ago, Joe Bryant said:

I'm not saying I'm right. I'm just saying it's how I am. I will always cheer for the local underdog vs the international conglomerate. 

Both businesses employee plenty of people just trying to make a living. That's what people seem to forget when they make villains out of these "giant corporations" as if they are some living breathing demons. They're mostly just made up of regular people "clocking in and clocking out" trying to get by.

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10 hours ago, BassNBrew said:

Wicked Weed sold out and now their products are much more readily available and prices have come down.  From a consumer standpoint it was beneficial.  Numerous micro brew options available in Asheville.

Yeah, the only change that I've noticed with Wicked Weed is that I can now get something like their Pernicious IPA, if I so desire, at my local grocery store anytime that I want, instead of it being a rare beer.  A lot of the breweries that have been getting bought let the same people run things because it is mostly the quality of the workforce-in-place that gives the beer the value.  They can just provide better value for money than borrowing from a bank so as to expand operations.

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Yeah, I really don't get the faux outrage here of 'selling out'.  "I'm never going to drink this product again".  Why, does it taste different?

Karbach brewery here in Houston sold out to international conglomerate back in 2016.  I enjoyed their product before, I enjoy it still.  Not much has changed near as I can tell.  Same brewery, lots of the same employees.  People that started the company were approached with an offer that was pretty much too good to be turned down.  Why the hell shouldn't they?  They are now financially set and if they get the urge can start up a new endeavor.

I work for a smallish company.  I've been here nearly since the inception and am super proud of what we have accomplished.  We were on the brink of shutting our doors about 2 years after I came on board, and brought it back to a very comfortable position in our market today.  But, I am under no illusions here that the owner will sell out one day to a larger company.  It would be great for him and setup his family for generations to come.  If I were him, I'd do the same thing.  I have asked him to just give me the headsup when he starts looking so I will know.  It's the natural order of things.  I'm a realist.  There has been a ton of conglomeration in my industry over the past decade.  More will follow.

 

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10 minutes ago, Dr. Octopus said:

Both businesses employee plenty of people just trying to make a living. That's what people seem to forget when they make villains out of these "giant corporations" as if they are some living breathing demons. They're mostly just made up of regular people "clocking in and clocking out" trying to get by.

Also, some small businesses are not necessarily worthy of support, assuming that's your goal by patronizing them.  Founders is being boycotted left and right due to the racism scandal. We have a local that makes fantastic beer but the owner is one of those insane Trump zealots, on social media constantly.  I buy beer from both these brewers, because they make fantastic, interesting beers at good prices, and that's pretty much my only criteria.  Not to say I don't understand the other side, because I definitely do ...

Years ago, I thought I would boycott Goose Island when ABInBev bought them, but who makes a beer like Matilda or Sophie, which I can now buy by the 4-pack at my freaking grocery store a mile from my house?  I have some Matilda in my fridge right now, Sophie in my cellar and a ton of their big black barrel-aged stuff, so that merger has been great for me personally.

 

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And everyone should have seen this coming...I mean a foreign country was in their name from the start! 

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Sad news, but doesn’t surprise me. Always liked Odell Brewing Company (right nearby) more anyway. 

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10 minutes ago, Don Quixote said:

Yeah, the only change that I've noticed with Wicked Weed is that I can now get something like their Pernicious IPA, if I so desire, at my local grocery store anytime that I want, instead of it being a rare beer.  A lot of the breweries that have been getting bought let the same people run things because it is mostly the quality of the workforce-in-place that gives the beer the value.  They can just provide better value for money than borrowing from a bank so as to expand operations.

Mmmm Permicous.  That was the beer I was referring to in my post. Not only does a good beer have distribution now, I can often buy it for under $10 a sizer instead of $15

new Belgium already had strong distribution. Their imperial ipa is also often on sale for 12.99 a twelve pack.   

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1 hour ago, Long Ball Larry said:

If you are that concerned about it, I would definitely recommend checking all the beers that you buy.

Definitely. 

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