A merger between the makers of Sam Adams and Dogfish Head brews up controversy
The Hustle

A merger between the makers of Sam Adams and Dogfish Head brews up controversy

Boston Beer Co. bought Dogfish Head for $300m, bringing 2 of the country’s biggest craft brewers under one roof.


May 13, 2019

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.

Join 1.5m+ professionals getting The Hustle daily news brief

Business and tech news in 5 minutes or less

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.

Join 1.5m+ professionals getting The Hustle daily news brief

Business and tech news in 5 minutes or less

100% free, no ads or spam, unsubscribe anytime

Exit mobile version