As a craft beer lover, it can be boring to consider the business aspects of beer-making when there’s so much great beer to be consumed and so many great beer fans to meet. But no matter how community-driven the industry seems, financial growth will always be a factor, or at least a temptation.
Case in point, Blue Point Brewing Co., which according to Brew York has officially been acquired by corporate powerhouse Anheuser-Busch. Though the acquisition was unexpected, it makes sense. Blue Point is Long Island’s oldest and largest brewery, and as of 2012, the 36th largest brewery in the United States, producing 60,000 barrels per year.
In a press release, A-B assured longtime Blue Point loyalists that the company’s Patchogue location will continue to produce beer. At the same time, Blue Point will now receive backing from a company valued at $153.5 billion dollars. There’s no doubt that the brewery will experience major growth, pushing far beyond its current distribution boundaries, which include the entire Eastern seaboard and states as far west as Michigan.
But what about the folks who have supported Blue Point since it opened in 1998? As Brew York points out, longtime fans of the brand are feeling betrayed and deservedly so. On their website, Blue Point founders Mark Burford and Pete Cotter firmly expressed a desire to remain “a small, local, independently-owned and operated microbrewery with absolutely no corporate ties,” but as the old adage goes, “Never say never.”
There are still a few kinks to be worked out, but the sale should be finalized in the second quarter of 2014. For an in-depth analysis of the acquisition, check out Brew York’s take on the whole affair.
Best of luck, Blue Point:
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