Los Angeles, CA – First Beverage Financial, the investment banking arm of First Beverage Group, announced that it acted as the financial advisor to Brooklyn Brewery in its sale of a minority equity interest to Kirin Brewery. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The investment will allow Brooklyn to remain independently owned and operated by president Robin Ottaway and CEO Eric Ottaway.
Founded in the late 1980s, Brooklyn Brewery has become the nation’s twelfth largest craft brewer. Its current expansion plans include two new facilities–a larger production brewery in or near NYC, and a new headquarters in the Brooklyn Navy Yard with a barrel aging facility, sour beer program, new offices, and a 600-person capacity rooftop beer garden. It will continue to operate its current brewery in Williamsburg. The investment by Kirin, Japan’s second-largest brewer by domestic market share, is intended to allow Brooklyn to continue its global expansion and to position it as a leading global craft brewer while supporting its US expansions. Brooklyn has been exporting beer to Japan since 1988, and total exports currently comprise about half of its business. It has been working for more than a decade with Carlsberg, which imports and distributes its beers throughout Europe and parts of Asia, and with which it has established craft breweries in Sweden and Norway. Brooklyn will set up a joint venture with Kirin for the purpose of expanding the craft beer market in Japan, and will develop a similar model together with Kirin in Brazil. Brooklyn’s other partnerships also include a new craft brewery in Korea, Jeju Brewing Company, expected to open in Spring 2017.
“We gave First Beverage a very complicated assignment to execute and they performed beyond our expectations,” said Eric Ottaway. “The team they assembled worked day and night for months to get us to the perfect transaction. Their knowledge of the industry and all its players goes without saying, and their guidance was invaluable.”
“This was an extremely gratifying assignment for our team,” said William Anderson, founder and CEO of First Beverage. “It was exciting for us to help this already-successful brewery in its search for the right long-term partner to help accelerate its goals, and we’re thrilled at the outcome they achieved.”
“We were pleased to play a role in the unique partnership between Kirin and Brooklyn Brewery,” said Townsend Ziebold, managing partner of First Beverage. “It is a privilege to be a part of the first investment by a Japanese brewer in a US craft brewer, and we are happy that this international joint venture and investment will allow Brooklyn to fund its capital projects and growth.”
About First Beverage Group
First Beverage Group is a full-service financial services firm dedicated exclusively to the beverage industry. First Beverage provides a comprehensive range of products, including investment banking and investment funds for growth capital to leading beverage entrepreneurs and operators. Headquartered in Los Angeles with offices in New York, the First Beverage team is made up of senior executives with over 200 years of beverage industry experience. For more information, please visit the company’s website, www.firstbeveragegroup.com.
About Brooklyn Brewery
Co-founded in 1988 by AP foreign correspondent, Steve Hindy, and banker, Tom Potter, Brooklyn Brewery is today run by brothers Robin and Eric Ottaway. Under the direction of brewmaster, Garrett Oliver, Brooklyn produces its flagship Brooklyn Lager in addition to a wide-ranging portfolio of beers, including East IPA, Defender IPA, Sorachi Ace, American Ale, and Greenmarket Wheat, as well as seasonals like Summer Ale, Bel Air Sour, and Black Chocolate Stout. Additional information on Brooklyn’s beers, blog, events and more can be found at http://brooklynbrewery.com/.
The Japan Brewery Company, the forerunner of Kirin, was founded over a hundred years ago in 1885. Justthree years later, in 1888, the brewing of Kirin beer began. 1990 saw the launch of Kirin Ichiban Shibori, a unique brew made exclusively from the first press of the wort. Today, Kirin Ichiban is brewed in the United States by Anheuser-Busch under strict supervision of a Kirin brewmaster, and by partners all over the world. As the world’s only first press beer, Kirin Ichiban is the true embodiment of beer at its purest. For more information, visit http://kirinusa.beer/.