Brewscape: The Latest Craft Beer Brand News

Boston Beer Company Acquires Dogfish Head

In May, Boston Beer Company announced the purchase of Delaware’s Dogfish Head Craft Brewery in a deal valued at about $300 million.

The transaction closed on June 3, 2019.

“This combination is the right fit as both Boston Beer and Dogfish Head have a passion for brewing and innovation, we share the same values and we will learn a lot from each other as we continue to invest in the high-end beer category,” Boston Beer founder and chairman Jim Koch said at the time of the announcement.

As part of a “merger agreement,” Dogfish Head co-founders Sam and Mariah Calagione, and former Dogfish Head shareholders, including various trusts bearing the Calagione name, received $173 million in cash as well as 427,096 shares of restricted Boston Beer class A stock (NYSE: SAM) valued at $314.60 per share.

Sam and Mariah Calagione are now the largest non-institutional shareholders in the company, behind Boston Beer founder Jim Koch. Sam Calagione will also obtain a seat on Boston Beer’s board of directors starting in 2020.

The sale came nearly four years after Dogfish Head sold a 15% stake to LNK Partners, a New York-based private equity firm.

The merger brought together the Brewers Association’s second-largest craft beer maker, Boston Beer, with the 13th largest craft brewery, Dogfish Head. Both companies will retain their status as BA-defined independent craft breweries.

Dogfish Head is on pace to sell 300,000 barrels of beer in 2019, with net sales of about $120 million.

MillerCoors Names New Hop Valley President

MillerCoors has promoted Adrian Benkonvich to president of its Oregon craft brewery, Hop Valley Brewing Company.

Benkonvich, a 16-year MillerCoors sales and marketing veteran, supplants co-founder Chuck Hare, who will transition into the role of CEO. Benkonvich will takeover the position on September 9 and report to Pete Marino, president of Tenth and Blake, MillerCoors’ craft division.

In a note to wholesalers, Marino called Benkonvich “ideally suited” for the role after playing “a pivotal role in the brewery’s expansion as the Tenth and Blake craft and import development director for the Pacific region over the past two-plus years.”

Smuttynose Brewing Company Hires Brian Walsh As CEO

Finestkind Brewing LLC, the parent company of New Hampshire’s Smuttynose Brewing Company, has hired Brian Walsh as the company’s new CEO.

Walsh replaced Rich Lindsay, who exited the company in May after about 14 months. Christopher Broom Sr., owner and chairman of the company, had been serving as interim CEO.

Walsh spent nearly five years as president and CEO of Pittsburgh Brewing before leaving that company in March 2018. He was previously president and CEO of Long Trail Brewing Company.

Saint Louis Brewery Promotes Fran Caradonna to CEO

The Saint Louis Brewery has named Fran Caradonna, who joined the company earlier this year, as its next chief executive officer.

“It is an honor and a privilege to join the Schlafly team at this particular moment in the company’s life, especially given my own career history and experience,” Caradonna said via a press release.

A 25-year industry veteran who co-founded the O’Fallon Brewery, Caradonna took over as chief financial officer and chief administration officer of the Schlafly Beer maker at the end of March.

Emily Parker-Lampe, Schlafly’s former head of brewing operations, had been serving as interim CEO following the departure of then-CEO James Pedegraft. Parker-Lampe has been named chief of brewery operations.