New York based Brooklyn Brewery has taken minority stakes in both San Francisco’s 21st Amendment Brewery (21A) and Fort Collins, Colorado’s Funkwerks. The trio is creating a combined sales team.
The baseline purpose of this deal is competition. The beer industry in the United States is rapidly changing as big beer companies, like Anheuser Busch InBev and Heineken, are purchasing craft breweries, plus the growth of private equity-backed breweries.
Rather than shop for a buyout, it is time to join forces.
Brad Lincoln, co-founder of Funkwerks tells Beer Street Journal that their brewery only has two salespeople, both in Colorado, yet ships to seven states. “We can’t afford more employees to compete in the markets that sustain us,” he said.
It’s a known fact that sales generally increase in distribution territories that have salespeople. 21A ships to 24 states, and boasts a 20 person sales team. Brooklyn touts nearly that many for just New York City.
The search for a solution rather than a cash-out led Lincoln to his close friend Dave Duffy, who is the vice-president of business development at Brooklyn Brewery. “Brooklyn is seasoned in brewery partnerships both here and abroad. They understand the challenges,” Lincoln said.
Yesterday, Michigan’s Short’s Brewing announced Heineken backed Lagunitas is buying a minority share in their brewery for similar reasons. Both Lincoln and Scott Newman-Bale of Short’s said nearly the same thing about their new financial associates: “They are a partner that will leave us alone and let us be us.”
Per Lincoln, “This is how we grow, fight, and compete, and eventually – grow.”
Throughout the rest of 2017, Brooklyn, 21st Amendment, and Funkwerks will be hard at work creating a national sales platform, slated to go live in January 2018. The idea of sharing brewing operations (ex. 21A brewing at Brooklyn) has been thrown out there, but no immediate plans to do so.
The equity percentages or value of Brooklyn’s financial investment were not disclosed.
Funkwerks Deux Funk
Today Funkwerks announced that brewers from New Belgium and Odell were in house and working on a collaborative beer. This is the 3rd annual Fort Collins collaboration. This year they’re working on a Biere de Garde featuring endive and rose hips. This is one of many brews that the brewers of Fort Collins will be whipping up for American Craft Beer Week. Stay tuned for more details as they unfold.
Style: Biere de Garde (w/ Endive and Rose Hips)
Arrival: May 2013 for American Craft Beer Week
Today the first kegs of Ellegance, a very special all female beer collaboration taps today.
Brewed especially for Colorado Craft Beer Week by a collection of women in the local craft beer scene. The collab features Wynkoop’s Bess Dougherty, Natalie Lesko of Funkwerks, Sydney Skilken of Denver’s TRVE Brewing, Linsey Cornish of Odell Brewing, Reva Golden from Twisted Pine, Ashleigh Carter of Prost Brewing and Melissa Antone and Sara Ferber from Avery Brewing. Ellegance is the first all female collaboration in Colorado.
Elegant and highly quaffable, the 5% ABV beer features a creamy beige head, a glorious tea/garnet color, aromas of fruit and hops, flavors of toast and light caramel, hints of spice and a refreshing, lingering hop bite on its finale.
Style: Belgian-style Brown Ale
Hops: Nelson Sauvin, Motueka, Eldorado
Malts: Simpson’s Golden Promise
Availabilty: Draft only. Colorado only
If you go:
Tapping party 5-7 PM Today (3/18) upstairs at Wynkoop Brewing
1634 18th St,
Denver, CO 80202
Wynkoop, Funkwerks, TRVE, Odell, Twisted Pine, Prost, Avery – 7 of Denver’s premier craft breweries. Each one has a few female brewers, and a lovely lady from each has come together to brew Denver Beer Week’s official beer.
This Belgian pale ale has yet to be named, but will be around 4-5% ABV and features ingredients from each brewery as well as some supplemental ingredients from Brewer’s Supply Group. Bess Dougherty of Wynkoop organized the group which includes Natalie Lesko of Funkwerks, Sydney Skilken from Denver’s TRVE Brewing, Linsey Cornish of Odell Brewing, Reva Golden from Twisted Pine, Ashleigh Carter of Prost Brewing, and Melissa Antone and Sara Ferber from Avery Brewing.
This brew will be the official beer of Denver Beer Week. Cheers to more badass women in beer!
Style: Belgian Pale Ale
Availability: on tap only
Arrival: Denver Beer Week Only (March 18-24 2013)
The beer you are holding is a different take on a White beer. We use a saison yeast strain to create a beer with citrus aromas and flavor. Like our Saison we use an extended secondary maturation and bottle conditioning to ensure all these unique qualities are preserved and evolve over time. Serve at 45°F in a tulip glass.
Availability: 750ml bottles, Draft.