Lagunitas, a Craft (Wink Wink) Beer Company, Invests in Short Brewing


The Full Pint – Short’s Brewing Company of Bellaire and Elk Rapids, MI announces plans to partner with The Lagunitas Brewing Company based in Petaluma, CA, America’s ninth largest brewery. The partnership stems from Short’s desire to successfully navigate the ever-evolving craft market while maintaining its creatively fearless identity. Lagunitas’ 19.99% equity stake in Short’s will be managed by Lagunitas U.S. Holdings — or LUSH. The founding principle of LUSH is to build relationships with, and support, regional breweries. In keeping with this, Short’s will maintain their individual brand image while gaining additional resources for continued opportunity to invest in Short’s staff, the Northern Michigan community, and opportunities to push the boundaries of creativity.

So this happened yesterday. It’s been a real struggle this week for BBB. No personal laptop. Car is getting dinged up. Work has been cray. But BBB never sleeps on big news. So what if I am working on a desktop from 2007 right now with only 4 GB of RAM? So what if the Podcast Hoppy Talk (Rate, Review, Subscribe) is postponed until further notice because I have no laptop to use? I keep grinding.

This is a wild story. Love the spin the Press Release had in it. It was like uh, hey Lagunitas acquired the stake in Short Brewing. Let’s forget that a few months ago the final 50% of Lagunitas was acquired by Heineken. Let’s not even mention Heineken in this announcement actually.  Those are some real PR people that probably are VERY good at their jobs.

But let’s call a spade a spade here. Heineken just bought 19.99% equity stake. Heineken started LUSH (Lagunitas United States Holdings) to fund various ventures such as this to keep Heineken out of it. 19.99% keeps the independent craft beer logo on the bottles and cans. Genius move by Heineken. So genius I respect the hell out of it.

Now my beef is mainly with AB-InBev from the big beer perspective. I don’t hate Heineken. I love NPH. But big beer continuing to hide their stakes in certain beer companies is becoming a problem. I blogged about how great the craft beer seal was. But now I realize that although great, companies are going to find a way around it. Instead of buying 100% of “Craft Brewer A” then can buy 20% of A, B, C, D and E for about the same price. That leaves the logo on those cans and bottles and gives big beer the upper hand.

I have to say, are we fighting a losing battle. I’m not a losing battle kind of guy. I always find a way to win. I have to figure this out. I will save craft beer. But first, I need my damn laptop so I can rant about this on Hoppy Talk (Rate, Review, Subscribe).

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