Yesterday, in a move that rocked the craft brewing industry, Delaware’s biggest craft beer producer, Dogfish Head, announced a $300 million merger with Sam Adams brewer Boston Beer Co.
Reaction to the news has been all over the map — and from all over the map (fun fact: New Zealand currently gets Dogfish Head, but not Sam Adams).
There’s abject horror:
— Freewheelin' Johnny Utah (@AmericanD) May 9, 2019
Burn what? (Oh. Your shirt.)
— Goodling (@bgoodl1248) May 10, 2019
Not sure if happy because that could mean Dogfish Head comes to germany or sad because Dogfish Head gets absorbed by a big(ger) company. pic.twitter.com/fce3lhisn9
— martin l. (@patrolhound) May 10, 2019
And valid concern:
Hope this doesn't mean any job cuts in Sussex county Delaware!!!!!!
— JBSinSpace (@JBSinSpace1) May 9, 2019
On the industry side, the reaction tended toward calm and logical:
Merging to get in on that supply chain and global coverage?
— a_crafty_one (@a_crafty_one) May 9, 2019
Mature is the key word – and bear in mind two things:
1. The 'golden age' of craft beer 2010-2015 wasn't going to carry on forever. Craft beer was/is never going to be 80% share
2. All the craft 'godfathers' are in their 50s and 60s now. Comes a time when you want to chill! https://t.co/VEcjzL6VBT
— Jon Urch (@ClassDrinking) May 9, 2019
— The Perfect Pour (@PerfectPourPod) May 10, 2019
Dogfish Head built their brand on fighting big beverage groups like Ab-Inbev, Miller Coors and brewing exciting/experimental beers. Sam Adam's may have large market sharebut are very "safe". Hopefully Sam Adam's grows more experimental, and DFH dont get more bland as a result
— The RealCTrahan (@RealCTrahan) May 10, 2019
Beernet goes deep:
Grokking the Dogfish Head – Boston Beer deal, from all angles. https://t.co/Fj64DqriID
— Harry Schuhmacher (@BeerBizDaily) May 10, 2019
Dogfish Head is ubiquitous in Delaware, but it’s far from the only fish in this small pond of craft breweries like 16 Mile, Twin Lakes, Blue Earl, Dew Point, Dewey Beer Co, Fordham & Dominion, Wilmington Brew Works, Midnight Oil, Big Oyster, Bellefonte Brewing and Stitch House — to name a few.
In an interview with the Cape Gazette, Dogfish Head founder Sam Calagione said that he and Boston Brewer founder Jim Koch are friends who have collaborated a number of times, including working on Capitol Hill for tax relief for small brewers and a collaboration beer called Savor Flowers.
The Sussex County Dogfish Head locations reportedly will remain.