This is happening so often that it’s kinda expected. Regardless, Golden Road Brewery of Los Angeles has been bought by Anheuser Busch. It is lesser known to some in the PNW, but it is the largest craft brewery in Los Angeles and is found in 4,000 retail locations and is projected by brew 45,000 barrels in 2015. The brewery is owned by 30 year old Meg Gill. Impressive move at such a young age.
Some argue Golden Road Brewery is more inline with St. Archer’s Brewing, which was recently acquired by MillerCoors. It has been argued that breweries like Golden Road and St. Archer’s were built to be sold. From the San Diego Reader, on St. Archer’s:
Except Saint Archer launched less than two and a half years ago, so to achieve anywhere close to that kind of valuation cannot be considered anything short of breathtakingly successful. At least from a business standpoint. Several local craft beer enthusiasts have not taken kindly to the news.
Saint Archer has had an uneasy relationship with San Diego beer fans from day one, precisely because its business model suggested this sort of sale was inevitable. A partnership of professional skaters, surfers, snowboarders, photographers, and filmmakers, the company was custom built for marketing prowess.
But as Jason Notte, who writes the excellent beer column for Market Watch told us,
There are definitely similarities, but Golden Road had better community relations.
St. Archer’s was sold two years after opening. Golden Road was sold 4 years after opening. Was that the plan all along?
Whatever the formula (if there is one), it would make sense in some business models to build something and find an immediate exit strategy, so you can move onto the next capital investment. But this is the very move that threatens the craft brewing industry. Diversity and community are hard to maintain when an in and out business model takes the reigns.
Golden Brewery released this video explaining the partnership:
The Press Release from Anheuser Busch
St. Louis — Anheuser-Busch today announced it will acquire Los Angeles-based Golden Road Brewing. The deal will enable Golden Road to bring more of its fresh, canned beer to the brewery’s local market and to introduce its unique hop-forward beers to more consumers. The partnership will build on Golden Road’s commitment, since 2011, to bring fresh beer to the market in the most sustainable way possible.
“The energy and passion of the beer community is what drew me into this industry and with Golden Road we wanted to help develop the craft beer market in L.A.,” said Meg Gill, president and co-founder at Golden Road Brewing. “Our team worked hard to build Golden Road from the ground up and we are proud of the growth we’ve achieved in such a short time. California is an exciting and competitive market for beer and I see endless opportunities in partnering with Anheuser-Busch and their incredible distribution network to bring our beers to more people.”�
As the largest craft brewery in Los Angeles County, Golden Road expects to sell approximately 45,000 barrels of beer in 2015 and can be found in more than 4,000 retail locations. With a brewery focused on draft and can production, a pub in Los Angeles and a new tasting room downtown. Additionally a new tasting room, opening in 2015, second production brewery and pub in Anaheim will be operational by the forth quarter of 2016. Its core brands – Point the Way IPA, Wolf Among Weeds IPA, Golden Road Hefeweizen and 329 Days of Sun Lager – represent 95 percent of volume. Along with the core beers, Golden Road brewers are constantly experimenting with the freshest ingredients through a collection of rotating, seasonal and limited-edition brews, most notably the Custom IPA Series, a line-up of diverse, hop-forward IPAs.�
“Golden Road’s commitment to making great beer, their pioneering spirit and the passionate beer culture built within the company is what appealed to us,” said Andy Goeler, CEO, Craft, Anheuser-Busch. “Their focus on giving back to the community and impact on the Los Angeles craft market in four short years makes Golden Road a strong addition to our craft portfolio.”
Golden Road Brewing will join Goose Island Beer Company, Blue Point Brewing, 10 Barrel Brewing and Elysian Brewing as part of Anheuser-Busch’s High End Business Unit’s portfolio. Anheuser-Busch’s partnership with Golden Road Brewing is expected to close by the end of the fourth quarter of 2015. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
About Golden Road Brewing
In 2011 by beer enthusiasts Meg Gill and Tony Yanow founded Los Angeles, California based Golden Road Brewing to bring fresh beer to the local market in the most sustainable way possible. Golden Road is committed to engaging and supporting the growing community of socially-minded beer enthusiasts. The brewery currently distributes its beer in California, Nevada and Arizona. For more information, check out www.goldenroad.la or be social at fb.com/goldenroadbrew and @GoldenRoadBrew on Twitter and Instagram.