Delaware’s Dogfish Head Brewery and Boston Beer Company, maker of Samuel Adams, will merge, the two companies announced Thursday afternoon.
The deal is worth around $300 million, according to a release from Boston Beer Company.
Dogfish Head said the merger was prompted by changing market conditions where “global mega brewers” are “buying regional brewers and marketing them as independent and local.” Boston Beer CEO Dave Burwick, who will lead the combined company, added via a statement that the company expects to see “more consolidation in the craft industry over time,” and the new entity will “be in the best position to take advantage of those changes.”
The merger follows a 2015 deal in which Dogfish Head sold a 15 percent stake to private equity firm LNK Partners.
Once combined, the company will remain an independent craft brewery, according to the definition provide by the Brewers Association, which represents the craft beer industry. To be considered independent, less than 25 percent of a craft brewery can be owned or controlled by a “beverage alcohol industry member that is not itself a craft brewer,” the Brewers Association states.
Boston Beer said in a statement that the combined entity “will be better positioned to compete against the global beer conglomerates within the craft beer category that are 50- and 100-times its size, while still representing less than 2 percent of beer sold in the United States.” Boston Beer CEO Dave Burwick will lead the combined company.
According to Brewbound, George Pastrana will retain his role as president and COO of Dogfish Head. There reportedly are no plans for either company to reduce their respective sales forces following the merger.
“We believe we are creating the most dynamic and diverse American-owned platform for craft beer and beyond,” Boston Beer Company founder and chairman Jim Koch said via a statement. “This combination is the right fit as both Boston Beer and Dogfish Head have a passion for brewing and innovation, we share the same values and we will learn a lot from each other as we continue to invest in the high-end beer category.”
In a letter posted Thursday afternoon on Beer Advocate, Koch and Dogfish Head’s Sam Calagione wrote: “By joining forces we’ll be able to successfully compete while retaining our position and leadership within the indie craft market, alongside our 7500-ish fellow American small brewers.”
Under the terms of the deal, released by Boston Beer, Dogfish Head will receive 406,000 shares of Boston Beer; Dogfish Head shareholders also will receive $173 million in cash, Dogfish Head cofounders Sam and Mariah Calagione will by the largest noninstitutional shareholders in the company behind Koch, Brew Bound said. Calagione will also join the board of directors at Boston Beer Company in 2020, and Dogfish Head will maintain “a significant presence” in its home state of Delaware.
“Not only are Dogfish Head and Boston Beer two original American breweries, but 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,” Calagione said in a statement. ““This merger better positions Dogfish Head and our coworkers to continue growing within this definition for many years to come.”