Two craft beer giants are about to become one.
Boston Beer Company and Delaware-based Dogfish Head Brewing, the second and thirteenth largest U.S. craft brewers respectively, announced on May 9 that they plan to merge in a deal valued at approximately $300 million.
The new company will bring together “more than half a century of Craft brewing expertise, a balanced portfolio of leading beer and ‘beyond beer’ brands at high end price points, and industry leadership in innovation and quality,” according to a Boston Beer Company press release. The cash-and-stock transaction, expected to close late in the second quarter, will combine Boston Beer brands including Samuel Adams beer, Angry Orchard hard cider, Truly Hard Seltzer, and Twisted Tea with Dogfish Head’s IPA and sour offerings.
The deal began when the two founders chatted over pints at Beer Advocate’s Extreme Beer Fest in Boston this February, per Brewbound. Dogfish Head co-founder Sam Calagione told the publication that it was then that he and Boston Beer founder Jim Koch realized “how beautifully complementary and not competitive our portfolios were.”
Calagione and his wife and co-founder Mariah will take about 406,000 shares of Boston Beer stock in the deal, making the duo the largest non-instutional shareholders after Koch. Additionally, Dogfish shareholders will take $173 million in cash, and Sam Caligione will join Boston Beer’s board of directors in 2020. Boston Beer CEO Dave Burwick will take the reigns of the consolidated company.
While the coupling of the two operations will give them a leading position in the high-end U.S. beer market and better position them to compete with global beer conglomerates, the brewers will retain their status as an independent craft brewery when merged. To fall into this category, the Brewers Association mandates that “less than 25 percent of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by a beverage alcohol industry member that is not itself a craft brewer.”
“Jim Koch and I worked hard with other leading craft brewery founders and the Brewers Association to develop and champion what defines independent American brewers,” Sam Calagione said in the release. “This merger better positions Dogfish Head and our co-workers to continue growing within this definition for many years to come. In fact, Mariah and I believe so much in the future of our merged companies that we are all in, and personally we’re reinvesting nearly all of the proceeds back into the combined entity.”