A-B Acquiring SoCal's Golden Road Brewing

FILED SEPTEMBER 23, 2015

Dear Client:

Anheuser-Busch has just announced it will acquire 2011-born, 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.

A-B's partnership with Golden Road is expected to close by the end of Q4 this year. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
The brewer did close to 30,000 barrels last year and has projected around 45,000 barrels for 2015. "We're in more than 4,000 California, Arizona and Nevada locations," Golden Road said in official communication, and will communicate more on new markets as they come. We reported earlier this year that they've got a new Anaheim brewery in the works, which should help with capacity starting in 2016. Also look for Point the Way Cafe at LAX next year.

Core brands Point the Way IPA, Wolf Among Weeds IPA, Golden Road Hefeweizen and 329 Days of Sun Lager represent 95% of the brewer's volume. They also have a collection of rotating, seasonal and limited-edition brews, most notably the Custom IPA Series, a line-up of diverse, hop-forward IPAs. They've been savvy about playing in the chains (as one must be in the Cali market), a core competency of their model from the beginning.

"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."

They have a brewery focused on draft and can production, a pub in Los Angeles and a new tasting room downtown. As mentioned, a second production brewery and pub in Anaheim will be operational by the fourth quarter of 2016.

For his part, A-B Craft CEO Andy Goeler said that "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." And "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."

The news follows a bevy of A-B acquisitions in the craft world over the last year, which has seen them take on 10 Barrel and Elysian from the Pac Northwest, as well as Virtue Cider in Michigan. Early last year they announced acquisition of Long Island's Blue Point, and of course, in 2011, Chicago's Goose Island. This is all part of their developing High End Business Unit's portfolio.

As we understand it, Golden Road will continue to be based and brew in LA right now, and isn't going national from the get-go. And yes, of course, their pubs are staying open. And yes, Meg is staying on.

Developing. More as it rolls in.

Until tomorrow, Harry

"When you come to a fork in the road, take it." -- Yogi Berra

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