Chicago – Molson Coors, continuing the ever-growing push to acquire more craft beer brands, made an unprecedented offer to buy Leinenkugel for $12 billion last Thursday.
While the size of the offer is larger than most recent craft brewery acquisitions, there was a deeper force in play making this offer different than anything the industry has seen to date. For many years now, the larger global brewing conglomerates have shifted their focus from brewing watered-down lagers to buying the stuff that people actually enjoy drinking. In a statement released last year, AB InBev’s CEO Carlos Brito said, “Apparently people enjoy beer with flavor. We’ve never been able to make that happen, so we’ll just buy all the companies that can.”
No stranger to buying smaller craft breweries, Molson Coors stepped into new territory with last week’s offer. Having researched Leinenkugel and their impressively loyal fan base, Molson Coors’ CEO Gavin Hattersley learned that Leinenkugel was not independently owned. They had already become part of a larger company that was seemingly stockpiling small, independent craft breweries. This seemed too good to be true – a company that was already successfully buying market share, exactly as they planned to do.
Hattersley went for the boldest of all moves – he marshalled the forces to purchase Leinenkugel’s parent company, Tenth and Blake. Too good to be true? Yes it was. Much to Hattersley’s dismay, he learned that he already owned Tenth and Blake and, by proxy, Leinenkugel. “Egg on my face is all I can say,” said a sheepish Gavin Hattersley. “We buy so many breweries and really don’t know much about beer. I guess I just got a little greedy.”
The silver lining here? Molson Coors ended the day with exactly what they set out to get and didn’t have to spend billions to get it.
This article is parody, in case you didn’t already know that. It’s meant to be funny so lighten up, Francis. If we use real people’s names, all the supporting details are totally made up.