Anderson Valley Brewing Co. started in 1987 in Boonville, California. Boonville is a unique place where some are believed to still speak the local dialect Boontling. As the world has become smaller, we hear that Boontling is even spoken in Singapore occasionally. The press release and news today states that a new beverage company headed up by Trey White will allow the company to expand. I wish all involved success in their part of this.
Ken Allen, the winner of the 2009 Brewers Association Recognition Award, is a highly respected craft brewing pioneer. Ken also served as former chair of the Association of Brewers board of directors at a point when professional brewery members emerged on the board, laying some early stones in the foundation for the eventual merger with the Brewers Association of America six years later to create the Brewers Association.
We don’t often see major ownership changes with small breweries. A few examples are when large brewers bought into Mendocino, Redhook, Widmer, when Morgan Wolaver bought Otter Creek and when Magic Hat created Independent Brewers United to buy Pyramid Breweries. Full Sail brewing became an ESOP; and many other companies allow employees to buy into the company. Because of the pressures to pump profit back into additional capacity to allow a company to grow, I have felt that exit strategies for brewery owners are often elusive. Maybe we’ll have to get Ken to speak on his experience at a future Craft Brewers Conference.