Beer Buzz: Sapporo Affiliate Acquires Canadian Craft Brewery, More On The Boston Beer Dogfish Head Merger

The beer biz never sleeps at American Craft Beer. And here’s some more of what’s been happening in the beer world while you were drinking your way through a May weekend.

Wild Rose Brewery Approves Sale To Third-Largest Brewer In Canada  (Calgary, Alberta) – Wild Rose Brewery has accepted a purchase offer by Sleeman Breweries, the third-largest brewer in Canada and a subsidiary of the Japanese multinational beer giant Sapporo Breweries Ltd.

The Guelph-based Sleeman made the unsolicited bid for Wild Rose earlier this year” according to the Calgary Herald. “The company has said it does not intend to make any changes to Wild Rose’s beer, but will instead concentrate on working with the Wild Rose team to grow the brand’s distribution and presence in the Alberta market.”

Wild Rose Brewery, which was founded by Mike Tymchuk and Alan Yule in 1995, is one of Canada’s oldest and largest craft brewers. The Calgary-based brewery, which is privately held by a group of investors and currently has more than 80 employees, has enjoyed double-digit growth annually for the past seven years.

Wild Rose Brewery’s sale marks the first acquisition of an Alberta craft brewer by a major corporation. And as a result of its decision to sell to Sleeman, it will no longer qualify for membership in the Alberta Small Brewers Association, which requires production of 40,000 hectoliters annually or less.

Sapporo Breweries Ltd. bought the Sleeman Breweries in 2006 for $400 million. Its Canadian brands include Sleeman, Okanagan Spring and Unibroue, while its international portfolio includes labels such as Sapporo, Old Milwaukee and Pabst Blue Ribbon.


Words To Drink By (Calgary, Alberta) – “It’s a bit of a bittersweet feeling…But it’s not like this is the end of something. We feel like it’s the beginning of something.” Brad Krusky/Wild Rose board member


Boston Beer’s Jim Koch twith Dogfish Head’s Sam Calagione

More On The Boston Beer Dogfish Head Merger (NYC) – Last Friday , Boston Beer founder Jim Koch and Dogfish Head’s co-founder Sam Calagione met with media at Eataly in New York City to shed more light on the merger announced Thursday.

Dogfish Head will operate under Boston Beer, shifting Calagione and his wife and co-founder Mariah out of their roles as controllers of the brand,” according to Vinpair. “Calagione will join Boston Beer’s board of directors next year.

Boston Beer’s 1,400 employees and Dogfish Head’s 400 will merge into one entity and both company logos will be emblazoned on product labels, Koch and Calagione explained.

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