The Ins and Outs of ESOPs


When Harpoon Brewery announced that it would transfer 48 percent of the company’s shares into an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP), many of our readers reached out with questions about how these transactions function. An ESOP is an innovative liquidity tool that provides flexibility for shareholders, tax advantages for business owners and an opportunity for employees to grow retirement assets through company ownership.

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Following LeBron James, SweetWater Taps Distribution in Ohio


LeBron James isn’t the only one taking his talents to Ohio. On the same day that the star basketball player announced his return to the team that drafted him, Atlanta-based SweetWater Brewing Co. unveiled its plans to launch new distribution in Ohio later this summer.

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Big Boss Expands Distribution to South Carolina

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Big Boss, which launched in Raleigh, N.C. in 2006, has tapped the services of B&B Distributors, KW Associates, Bud of Columbia, and Southern Eagle for coverage in Rock Gill, Greenville, Columbia and Charleston respectively.

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Brewers Association: U.S. Brewery Count Eclipses 3,000


There are now more than 3,000 breweries in the U.S., according to Bart Watson, the Brewers Association’s (BA) staff economist. Through the end of June, the BA counted 3,040 breweries, which marks the first time the U.S. has crossed the 3,000-brewery threshold since the 1870s. Watson, who announced the statistics on the trade group’s blog yesterday, said the sustained rise in the number of U.S. breweries represents a “return to the localization of beer production.” 

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Harpoon’s ESOP Gives 48 Percent of Company to Employees

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Effective Aug. 1, Boston’s Harpoon Brewery will be minority owned by its employees. The company today announced that it has transferred 48 percent of the company’s shares into an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) after purchasing those shares back from six of its eight existing shareholders.

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L’chaim! Shmaltz Grows Production 42 Percent in Clifton Park

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One year after ditching a contract brewing business model for a shiny new brewing facility in Upstate New York, Shmaltz Brewing has grown its business nearly 50 percent. The company, which produces and markets a line of craft beers with tongue-in-cheek Jewish themes, had been producing its beers under contract for 17 years when it decided to open its own brewery last July.

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Press Clips: California Brewers Grow In and Out of State

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The Music City is getting a new craft brewery. Well, not exactly brand new: TailGate Beer was founded in San Diego, Calif. in 2007 and had been producing its beer under contract at Minhas Craft Brewery in Monroe, Wis. However, TailGate is currently in the process of relocating and plans to open its own production facility in Nashville, Tenn.

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California Legislative Briefing on Tap at Brew Talks Sacramento; Watch LIVE at 5:30PM Pacific


Brewbound will travel to Sacramento next Tuesday, July 15, to host Brew Talks, an educational and networking meetup for beer industry professionals. The event, which will be hosted at Sudwerk Brewing Co., will feature two panel discussions on the business of craft beer. Brewbound editor Chris Furnari will sit down with Tom McCormick, the executive director of the California Craft Brewers Association (CCBA).

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Sierra Nevada Releases Beer Camp Across America 12-Pack

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Sierra Nevada has released the highly anticipated Beer Camp Across America mixed 12-pack, a collaborative release showcasing the work of a dozen craft breweries from across the country. Beyond national availability, the 10 bottles and two cans that make up the variety pack will also be poured at each stop of the Beer Camp Across America roaming beer festival, a seven-city tour scheduled to commence July 19 in Sierra Nevada’s hometown of Chico, Calif.

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How Pliny the Elder Became the Best Beer in America


In Naturalis Historia, Vol. VI CB, Pliny the Elder wrote, “In these matters, the only certainty is that nothing is certain.” How ironic then, that Russian River Brewing Co.’s famed imperial IPA, named after the abovementioned Roman philosopher, has by all accounts been certainty in a bottle for several years.

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Craft Brew Alliance CEO Joins July 14 Brew Talks in Portland


Brewbound today announced the first stop during its weeklong Brew Talks West Coast Tour, which will kick off on Monday, July 14 at Breakside Brewery’s Milwaukie production facility, located just 15 minutes from downtown Portland, Ore. During the event, Craft Brew Alliance CEO Andy Thomas and Brewbound editor Chris Furnari will examine a variety of business issues that craft beer entrepreneurs face as they look to grow their brands.

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The Dogfish Inn is Open For Business


Want a sneak peek at the new Dogfish Inn? Brewbound traveled to Lewes, Del. last month to checkout the brewery’s new digs. What we discovered was a modern 16-room motel that was cozy, relaxed and elegant, all at the same time.

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