That’s Terrapin Brewing of Athens, Georgia. They’re been in the news of late because the craft division of MillerCoors, a company called Tenth and Blake, have converted part of a loan they made to the brewery’s founders into a stake in the company, estimated to be something under 25% of the entity as a whole.
As I noted when Anheuser-Busch InBev bought Goose Island earlier this year, these types of deals are an inevitability in an industry where the only domestic growth is being shown by the breweries populating the 5% market share that is craft brewing. Big breweries like ABIB and SABMiller have, for the most part, essentially conceded that their brands can at best hold their own in a dwindling market and are content to buoy revenues through price hikes, like the 3% to 5% boost ABIB is currently effecting in the States.
How they can grow their presence in the market, then, becomes a question of either creating their own brands that play in the craft sphere, such as SABM’s Blue Moon and ABIB’s Shock top, or buying up their smaller competitors. Terrapin may not eventually fall to full MillerCoors control, or in a few years we might be more money pumped into the mix and a controlling share obtained. But whatever does happen, you can bet it won’t be Terrapin alone making those decisions.
The good news is that for every brewery that may fall to the goliaths, there are likely a few dozen about to open.