Less than nine months after selling at least a 40 percent stake in Harpoon Brewery, the country’s 15th largest craft beer company, co-founder and former CEO Rich Doyle is back in the game.
Backed by an investment from San Francisco-based private equity firm Friedman, Fleisher & Lowe (FFL), Doyle has launched Enjoy Beer LLC, a consortium aimed at providing back-office support to independent craft brewers.
According to a company statement, “Enjoy Beer will create partnerships with additional top craft brewers who wish to preserve their local independence, while gaining shared resources in areas such as marketing, sales, purchasing, logistics, and finance in order to compete with large-scale corporate competitors.”
Louisiana’s Abita Brewing is the group’s founding brewery partner. The brewery has reportedly sold a stake in the company to join the new enterprise, according to Beer Marketer’s Insights.
A more in-depth feature will follow this afternoon. In the meantime, Enjoy Beers’ official statement is below.
Boston, MA — Enjoy Beer LLC is a new enterprise created to provide resources on a national scale to a select group of top independent U.S. craft brewers. Abita Brewing Company, the oldest craft brewer in the Southeast, is the company’s Founding Brewery Partner.
Enjoy Beer partners will share their collective wisdom and resources, and those of craft industry experts, in order to bring competitive strength to their individual craft breweries in an ever more competitive marketplace. The company was created and is headed by craft brewing veteran Richard Doyle, and its investors include FFL, a private investment firm.
According to Doyle, Enjoy Beer President and Founder, “As the craft brewing industry continues to evolve, there is enormous pressure on brewers to compete against the big breweries. Local brewers like David Blossman at Abita, have been committed to innovation and finding new opportunities to compete while ensuring the company’s independence and local roots.”
Enjoy Beer will create partnerships with additional top craft brewers who wish to preserve their local independence, while gaining shared resources in areas such as marketing, sales, purchasing, logistics, and finance in order to compete with large-scale corporate competitors.
“As a local brewer, I’ve always dreamed of an opportunity to help develop something like Enjoy Beer,” says David Blossman, President of Abita Beer and Board Member of Enjoy Beer. He contin- ues, “Enjoy Beer is an innovative concept that’s going to give Abita the resources and expertise we need for a successful long-term, national growth strategy, while keeping our local roots in Louisiana.”
Adds Doyle, “Enjoy Beer will pioneer a new model in the industry, and together, we will help these independent companies compete at the next level by expanding their resources and their reach.”
An industry veteran with nearly thirty years of experience, Richard Doyle co-founded and was the CEO of the Harpoon Brewery in Boston, Mass., before selling his interest to Harpoon employees. He is also a former Chairman of the Brewers Association.
FFL has more than fifteen years of experience supporting growing businesses by partnering with strong management teams, providing capital and offering operational expertise. The firm, which manages more than $4.5 billion in assets, has made investments in more than 30 businesses to support their growth strategies.
Abita Brewing, which produces 160,000 barrels annually, recently completed a three-year, $30 million state-of-the-art expansion that will increase its brewing capacity to 400,000 barrels. Currently, the company produces eight year-round beers, five seasonal brews, four harvest, seven big beers, a select series, and a root beer. With products sold in 41 states, the District of Columbia, and in a limited number of foreign countries, Abita was ranked the 21st largest craft brewer in the country by the Brewers Association in 2014.