Sam Calagione, owner of Dogfish Head has sold a minority stake of it’s brewery to a private equity firm out of New York. Calagione sold a 15% stake in his company to the LNK private equity firm, following suit with other breweries who have gone the private equity route, such as Full Sail Brewing out of Oregon.
Why does this matter? Mainly it is an interesting turn of opinion, or so it would seem. Sam Calagione has been very vocal about his displeasure with the craft beer community selling stakes. Though he was mainly referring to breweries that have sold to Big Beer. Breweries like Dogfish seem to be selling near the apex of their success. Perhaps they see a ceiling to what they can do and the need for capital to help them push to the next level, to increase distribution and production.
Calagione always seemed interested in keeping DFH a family owned business. By going with a private equity firm, with a minority stake, the company has gained financial guidance while retaining it’s independence.
This is another in a long line of recent sales in craft beer as well as a changing of the guard in craft beer leadership. To boot, just this morning, it was announced the head of Green Flash was stepping down.
Beer Business Daily.com lays out the details of the deal.
Yesterday Dogfish chief Sam Calagione shared the following news with employees. They’ll give New York-based LNK “a modest 15% ownership position.” One more for the private equity succession plan camp.
“Today, I am excited to announce that Mariah and I added a new asset as external support to Dogfish Head – LNK Partners,” he wrote. “You are likely thinking, who or what is that? Well, they are an incredibly smart and experienced group of people who have worked with companies of all sizes and styles like Levi’s, Performance Bicycle, Gatorade and Calvin Klein