The country's largest brewer, Anheuser-Busch InBev has agreed to buy the Blue Point Brewing Company for an undisclosed sum in a deal that is expected to close in the second quarter of 2014.
This is a move that is likely to become more popular as more and more beer drinkers continue to flock to the exploding craft beer market. The question really becomes what does this mean for Blue Point beer and those who love it?
Being within walking distance of the Blue Point Brewery in Patchogue, I was greatly interested in how this would affect our local brewery. From the announcement, hopefully not at all. Well, let's rephrase that to, hopefully not in a bad way. The announcement states that Blue Point will continue to operate out of its current offices in Patchogue and the deal will simply provide an infusion of capital to expand operations and "enhance the customer experience."
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Blue Point co-founder Mark Buford said in a statement, "Together, our talented brewing team and Anheuser-Busch will have the resources to create new and exciting beers and share our portfolio with even more beer lovers."
That seems to sum up what the move was about for Blue Point; create more and get it out to more people.
Anheuser-Busch certainly has a need for expansion into the craft beer market and acquisition is likely the only path for a company of their size. Last year's merger with Grupo Modelo whose portfolio includes brands like Corona and Modelo shored up a huge portion of the mass beer market - even though an antitrust settlement forced them to give up the rights to distribute those brands in the United States - and Blue Point's size and market penetration made them a likely target for AB.
Whether this move will be a positive one for Blue Point and not just another experiment for AB who recently acquired back South Korean brewer Oriental Brewery after selling it to private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts nearly five years ago remains to be seen (that deal included a clause allowing AB to buy the company back within five years at a price that was predetermined in the original sale). Share your thoughts below!
Photo: Blue Point Brewery Tasting Room | Christopher Searles
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