This wouldn’t have happened if the craft biz had been as profitable as it was a decade ago. Back then big beer majors like Constellation Brand and Anheuser-Busch were scooping up small independent breweries like crazy.
But now with craft beer’s sales momentum slowing, those same companies are selling back some of those properties to the breweries’ original owners who more than willing to take them on.
On May 18th Anheuser-Busch sold Appalachian Mountain Brewery and Cidery back to its original founders, cousin’s Nathan Kelischek and Chris Zieber.
And on May 26th Constellation Brands, which has enjoyed spectacular success with its Mexican import brands, returned the Oakland Park, Florida headquartered Funky Buddha brewery to its original owners for an undisclosed sum.
Funky Buddha Lounge & Brewery was founded in 2010 in Boca Raton by husband and wife Ryan and Giani Sentz. Ryan’s brother KC and his wife Melissa joined the business as demand for their beers grew.
But in 2017 Constellation Brands, a leading international producer and marketer of beer, wine and spirits and the No. 3 beer company in the US thanks to iconic brands such as Corona Extra, Corona Light, Modelo Especial, Modelo Negra and Pacifico, added the Funky Buddha Brewery to a portfolio that already included Ballast Point, a brewery the company paid $1 billion in 2015.
In 2019 the Victor, NY-based drinks company off-loaded Ballast Point to a Chicago brewing firm, Kings & Convicts Brewing, a privately-held company backed by a small group of investors. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed , but we feel confident it was far less than Constellation Brands paid for San Diego-based brewery at the height of the craft beer boom.
On the other hand the Funky Buddha crew couldn’t be happier about their independent future and we expect that their fans wiull as well.
“Beverage innovation has always been our biggest strength, and Ryan and his team have some incredible ideas in the pipeline,” said KC Sentz, Owner and Co-Founder of Funky Buddha Brewery. “As we approach our 10th anniversary, it seems like the perfect time for our business to evolve and reignite the community’s passion for craft beverages.”
“We enjoyed working with Constellation and we learned a lot from them. As we embark on the next chapter, we plan to push boundaries and create entirely new drinking experiences in beer and beyond,” added Ryan Sentz, Owner and Co-Founder. “We’ll be serving good vibes on tap for many years to come.”
The reacquisition of Funky Buddha Brewery by the Sentz brothers is targeted for June 2023.
(All image credits: Funky Buddha Brewery)