Boston Beer Co. — the brewery that makes Sam Adams — bought rival brewing company Dogfish Head in a crafty $300m deal.
The merger will combine the 2nd-largest (Boston Beer) and 13th-largest (Dogfish) craft beer companies in the same corporate keg, raising some questions about what it means for a brewery to be considered “craft.”
What counts as ‘craft,’ anyway?
According to the not-for-profit Brewer’s Association, a brewery must make less than 6m barrels of beer per year and be less than 25% controlled by a Big Beverage company to count as “craft.”
Dogfish Head produces 262k barrels per year, but Boston Beer, which pumps out 4.3m barrels per year, barely makes the cut.
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Since Boston Beer is one of the 10 largest breweries in the country and it’s publicly traded, beer snobs argue it’s not “true” craft — and now they say Dogfish sold out.
Go home angry Facebook mob… you’re drunk
The fizzy flood of Facebook furor ranged from “Drink craft, not corporate!” to “oh f*ck me this is awful.”
But both businesses will still be independently operated and founder-run (albeit with wider distribution for Dogfish).
Plus, the acquisition will allow Dogfish Head to grow without selling to a multinational beverage giant like Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV that could lay off employees and change production practices.