Back in 2015, Golden Road Brewing co-founder Tony Yanow took his son to a Los Angeles Dodgers game and witnessed something that changed his life forever.
“I went upstairs to the concourse to get a beer, and there was this giant stand that said Goose Island, Chicago, Illinois,” he said. “There were probably, I dunno, eight bartenders pouring pint, after pint, after pint. And then we have this dinky little stand, with Golden Road and one guy pouring really slowly, and there is nobody really there.”
At the time, Dodger Stadium was one of Golden Road’s largest on-premise accounts. And while consumers were beginning to support local brands, an IPA from the Midwest, made by a company owned by Anheuser-Busch, was still outselling Golden Road and undercutting the brewery on price.
“They were selling, at that time, their IPA for about the same price as it cost us to make it,” he said. “And I thought, geez, we are going to get squeezed from all these little guys at the bottom and all these big guys at the top.”
So, Yanow and co-founder Meg Gill took a meeting with A-B executives who had expressed interest in buying the company.
“As much as I love Golden Road, and I loved what we were doing, I felt a lot of pressure coming from various areas,” he said. “And when we got the offer — it was a substantial offer. It was a lot more than we — or at least more than I — had anticipated.”
Yanow would go on to use some of the profits from his sale of the business to help fund his next venture, the Artisanal Brewers Collective, a group of 13 restaurants and breweries throughout Southern California focused on selling fresh, locally made beer.
In episode 18 of the Brewbound Podcast, Yanow discusses the circumstances that led to the sale of Golden Road, and what his goals are for the Artisanal Brewers Collective. He also talks about the state of the craft beer market, the consumer shift toward supporting hyper-local businesses, and how he evaluates beers that are sold in his pubs.
Also in this episode: Brewbound editors Chris Furnari and Justin Kendall discuss Andy Thomas’ revised employment contract with CBA, and explain why Pizza Hut is expanding its beer delivery service. Furnari and Kendall also share musings from beer Twitter, including the outrage over Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s choice of beer, and Goose Island’s free-beer-for-a-year promotion.
Listen to episode 18 of the Brewbound Podcast above, as well as on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify, and Soundcloud. New episodes of the Brewbound Podcast, which is co-hosted by Furnari and Kendall, are published every Thursday.
Episode 19, featuring Ocotillo Holdings co-founder Josh Landan, who also co-founded Saint Archer Brewing, will be released on Thursday, January 17. For questions, comments or suggestions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.