Yesterday MillerCoors, the joint venture between SABMiller and Molson Coors Brewing Company, announced it would add Saint Archer Brewing Company to its craft and import division Tenth and Blake. After weeks of swirling rumors the deal, which is expected to close next month, will see the Chicago-based conglomerate acquire a majority interest in the young San Diego brewery. Financial details of the sale have not yet been released.
The transaction not only marks the first major purchase for MillerCoors craft division since 2012, but also heralds the arrival of Big Beer in San Diego. Opinion has so far been divided on the acquisition of a local brewery by a major international conglomerate, and the impact this might have on San Diego’s craft beer industry. The story, which broke to a flurry of national and local news coverage, has been a hot topic across social media, with SDBrewProject calling it a "Shameful day in the San Diego craft beer community" on Twitter.
According to the official release on brewbound.com day-to-day operations led by co-founder and president Josh Landan will continue as usual at the Miramar production plant and tasting room, with Tenth and Blake providing marketing support and distributing power to help grow the brand.
"We have always wanted to get great beer into more people’s hands," said Landan. "Joining Tenth and Blake allows us to keep doing what we love right here in San Diego, but now with more resources to innovate and grow. With Tenth and Blake’s help, we hope to one day be a national brand."
Saint Archer, which launched in 2013 and marketed itself towards the surfing, skate and snowboarding community synonymous with San Diego, is considered as one of the fastest-growing breweries in California. After hiring standout brewer Yiga Miyashiro sales more than doubled in 2014 – its blonde ale, pale ale, white ale and IPA winning fans across the Golden State.
Upon completion of the sale Saint Archer will join the likes of Blue Moon Brewing Co., Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Co., Crispin Cider Co. and AC Golden as part of the Tenth and Blake family. Smart business move, or selling out? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.