Lagunitas Brewing and Elk Rapids, Michigan based Short's Brewing have formed a new partnership. Lagunitas has purchased a 19.99% equity stake in Short's Brewing.
According to Short's, this partnership will allow the brewery to gain access to additional resources (besides cash) and, "continued opportunity to invest in Short's staff, and the northern Michigan community."
The equity stake will be managed by Lagunitas U.S. Holdings (LUSH).
Joe Short, founder of Short's Brewing characterizes this partnership an evolution in the cycle of their dynamic and growing business:
”I never imagined Short’s would become such a successful regional brewery. The secret to that success has always been to surround myself with good people. The best people; who in many ways are smarter and more talented than myself. I'm confident all successful businesses would tell you a similar story. This partnership with Lagunitas is just another part of evolution in the cycle of our dynamic and growing business. I've grown so much personally and professionally during my time at the helm of Short’s Brewing Company that I understand now, more than ever – the continued success of Short’s and its people rely on me to make smart and strategic decisions. This is just one of them.”
Lagunitas sold a 50% stake of the brewery to Heineken in 2015. Earlier this year, Lagunitas "fully merged" with Heineken, selling the remaining 50% stake.
According to the Brewers Association, Short's Brewing will remain an independent craft brewery. Per their definition of Independent:
Less than 25 percent of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by an alcohol industry member that is not itself a craft brewer.
The Need For Equity.
Beer Street Journal spoke with Scott Newman-Bale, a partner in Short's Brewing. For nearly six months now, Short's has been operating at 100% capacity. The brewery has less than 2 days of reserves, with trouble keeping beer on shelves in all of their current markets. A great position to be in, but also – financially complicated. Newman-Bale was wary of turning to a traditional financial institution, citing past horror stories of bankers asserting control in what a brewery does.
Lagunitas founder Tony Magee and the folks at the brewery are good friends with Short's. "They don't take themselves too seriously and really understand us," Newman-Bale said. "An equity partnership with Lagunitas would be with folks that would financially help us meet our goals, but really just leave us alone to do what we want. That's rare," he said.
So what's in it for LUSH? Newman-Bale states that Magee is still very supportive of America's burgeoning beer scene. LASH exists to be a strategic partner for growth opportunities like this. Not global domination. When asked the "complicated" question about the stigma of accepting cash from Lagunitas, which is owned by Heineken, Newman-Bale simply replied, "Yeah, we know what that means. We get that. That doesn't matter to us. Over time you'll see how well this works out."
The 19.99% is actually regulatory and not made up for fun marketing purposes. As far as Short's is concerned, there will be no more equity buy-in to the brewery. This will hopefully be it.
The future holds minor capital expansions to the Elk Rapids production facility. This will allow fresh beer to flow in current Short's markets, especially ones that are currently running dry. Right now, beer goes from packaging to shelves in less than a week. There will be no production outsourcing, no leadership changes, no recipe changes.
Even with the small brewery expansions, Newman-Bale states there are no new territories planned. "We have to keep our promises to our current markets first."
Short's opened their brewpub in Bellaire, Michigan in 2004. In 2009, the brewery opened their Elk Rapids production facility. Short's is expected to produce 50,000 barrels (1.5 million gallons) of beer in 2017.
Lagunitas has Born Yesterday, a beer brewed with wet hops flown in from Yakima, Washington and thrown in the brew kettle within 24 hours. It’s a real treat if you snag it fresh.The beer is massively aromatic, dank, bitter; all the things you want in a fresh hopped IPA that is sadly only available once a year. No need to wait until late summer for your next fix, because Lagunitas Born Again Yesterday has arrived.
The brewery boasts some kind of expensive, proprietary technology that has allowed them to preserve the wet hops (making them wet all year). That means they don’t have to wait for the next harvest to create “Born”. While hops are just starting to sprout, you can have a beer that tastes like the coming harvest.
Ours is a homegrown process of time dilation for the delicate hop cone that the flower doesn’t even perceive and so delivers its still newborn self to our kettle months and months after its birth. Questing has no end and we are still tweaking our process but we hope you find this mid-summer anachronism to be as satisfying as we do.
Lagunitas Born Again Yesterday is a limited release, unfiltered “wet-hopped” beer, available in 12 ounce bottles and draft.
Availability: 12oz Bottles, Draft.
Latest Release: May, 2017
Lagunitas Davey Murray’s Best Scotch Ale
Lagunitas Fandom Ale is available at Buffalo Wild Wings locations across the country. This wheat ale marks the 39th release of the “Fusion” craft beers series from Lagunitas. Fandom Ale will be the first offering in the series to be distributed nationwide.
Lagunitas designed Fandom Ale, a hoppy pale wheat ale, as a sessionable option for the avid sports fan.
“Fandom Ale is the 39th of our ‘Fusion’ craft beers, a special series in which we brew unique recipes in batches with very special limited releases that reflect a true fusion of the creativity and ideas of our brand. We worked to come up with something approachable, interesting and fun for sports fans.” -Karen Hamilton
The beer developed after multiple surveys of Buffalo Wild Wings guests indicated their fan favorites are easy-drinking, full flavored, wheat beers and pale ales. Lagunitas describes Fandom Ale as a fusion of wheat beer and pale ale, with a subtle citrus aroma, and flavor that pairs well with Buffalo Wild Wings hot sauces and spices.
You can find Lagunitas Fandom Ale in over 1,200 Buffalo Wild Wings locations nationwide for a limited time, as well as various bars within typical Lagunitas distribution.
Style: Wheat Ale
Availability: Limited time, Buffallo Wild Wings
Release: November 2016
Lagunitas Born Yesterday, the brewery’s fresh hop pale ale, is returning once again in 2016.
The Yakima Valley hops are flown in fresh for the brew day, in typical fresh-hop fashion, in the kettle in less than 24 hours. Last year, the beer was only brewed in Petaluma, California. Very few bottles got very far from the Golden State. starting in 2015, the beer was brewed in Chicago as well, making the beer more widely available.
Lagunitas Born Yesterday features whole cone, un-kilned Mosaic, Equinox, Citra, Simcoe and Amarillo hops. The beer bottles and ships the same day.
The brewery announced today that Lagunitas Born Yesterday has been bottled, and already showing up on shelves.
Lagunitas Tuberfest is now available. Part of the brewery’s “One-Hitter” series.
One thing you bank on with the Lagunitas One-Hitter Series – it’s random. Your year will go from hoppy, to sour, to something fest-y like Lagunitas Tuberfest.
Sierra Nevada takes the traditional route by collaborating for a second year with centuries old German breweries. Lagunitas went traditional too. At least until you get to the hop bill. This malt forward lager sets itself apart from other oktoberfest-style beers, thanks to the the ever-so-hot Idaho 7 hops. So many breweries are using them right now for some pretty amazing IPAs.
Why be like everyone else right?
What you’ll taste. Lagunitas Tuberfest is a head-on collision of a malty fest beer you’re chugging as fall rolls around, with the unique Idaho 7 hop. The result in your glass is perfectly put by the brewery… Zing-y. Plus a little bit boozy. 7.5% ABV if you’re asking. This is one fall lager that won’t be blending into the shelve anytime soon.
Lagunitas Tuberfest is available for a limited time in 12 ounce bottles and draft.
Hops: Idaho 7
Availability: 12oz Bottles, Draft.
Debut: September, 2016
Lagunitas Stoopid Wit will join the brewery’s seasonal lineup this month. A beer loosely based on a few styles.
This week we tried an early sample of this upcoming release. Lagunitas Stoopid Wit is a bit hoppy, like Hop Stoopid. It’s soft and wheat-y like a Belgian witbier. Let’s say it’s got a foot in both worlds.
This UNFILTERED Belgian-ish Wit-ly-esque-ish-ness brew features a dry twang of hoppy bitterness and is perfect for the summertime drinkin’!
Lagunitas Stoopid Wit will be a 12 ounce bottle and draft offering. More details coming soon.
Availability: 12oz Bottles, Draft.
Debut: July, 2016