Last Call: In-State Sales on the Rise in Michigan; Baderbrau Set for Auction

In-state Sales of Michigan on the Rise

In the last decade, in-state sales of Michigan-made beer have increased nearly six-fold, to 18.7 million gallons (603,225 barrels), according to MiLive.com, citing Michigan Liquor Control Commission data.

And the nearly 604,000 barrels of Michigan-produced beer accounted for 10 percent of the state’s beer market last year, compared to just 2 percent in 2007.

That’s not too surprising considering the number of Michigan microbreweries has increased from 34 in 2007 to 283 in 2017.

The state’s two largest beer companies — Bell’s Brewery and Founders Brewing Co. — accounted for about five percent of the beer sold within Michigan’s borders, combining to sell 291,539 barrels in-state.

Sales of beer from Michigan’s microbreweries (beer companies producing up to 60,000 barrels of beer annually) are nearly 10 times higher than they were 10 years ago. The state’s microbreweries collectively sold 289,285 barrels of beer in the state last year, the outlet reported.

Meanwhile, sales of beer from brewpubs are up 14 percent, to 22,913 barrels, compared to 2007. Read more of the findings here.

Chicago’s Baderbaru Heads to Auction

Baderbrau Brewing, which closed its taproom last month and ceased beer production at its South Loop brewery in May, is set to liquidate its equipment and intellectual property during an August 1 auction, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Citing a listing on BidSpotter.com, the Tribune reported that the opening bid for the entire operation is $300,000, although more than 150 items from the Chicago brewery are also being offered individually.

Brewery Closures in Colorado, California and Georgia

Another week, another round of brewery closures.

Two breweries in Longmont, Colorado — Skeye Brewing and Open Door Brewing — closed their doors in late June, while Three Four Beer Company in Fort Collins announced it would close on July 29, according to Denver alt-weekly Westword. Those three breweries join a list of at least seven other Colorado beer companies that have shuttered in 2018.

Meanwhile, a Crazy Mountain Brewing-branded taproom in Glendale was seized by the Arapahoe County sheriff this month, according to Business Den.

The site was being licensed by the operators of World of Beer and not part of the Crazy Mountain’s business, the brewery’s CEO and founder Kevin Selvy told the outlet.

Business Den reported that the property owner, Sonley Retail LLC, had filed a lawsuit in February against World of Beer for back rent. This marks the third Crazy Mountain location to close this year after the company was evicted from its Edwards production facility in January as well as a May eviction from a 3-month-old taproom that it opened at a Winter Park ski resort.

In other Colorado brewery news, the owners of Goldspot Brewing, Matt Hughes and Alex Sward, have sold the 3-year-old Denver beer company to a group that includes head brewer Kelissa Hieber and Ryan and Winnie DuBois, according to Westword.

Meanwhile, in San Diego, the owners of ChuckAlek Independent Brewers have decided to close the 6-year-old brewery, citing a move out of California to pursue other career opportunities, according to West Coaster. The brewery and tasting room will stay open until the end of July, and a satellite beer garden will close on September 2. West Coaster noted that ChuckAlek is the sixth brewery to close in the San Diego area this year.

On the other side of the country in Georgia, a pair of small breweries — Southern Sky Brewing Company and Abbey of the Holy Goats — have also shuttered in recent months, according to Beer Street Journal.

Heineken Eyes Replacement for United Breweries CEO

Heineken N.V. is reportedly seeking a legal opinion to see if it can replace embattled billionaire Vijay Mallya as CEO of United Breweries in India, according to the Economic Times.

Mallya, who is currently fighting extradition from London to India, where he is facing charges of fraud and money laundering in excess of $1 billion, had an shareholder agreement with Heineken that would allow him to remain chairman for life and a non-retiring director of the company. However, due to his legal issues as well as a ruling from India’s Securities and Exchange Board that wilful defaulters could not hold key board roles, the company is seeking to replace him as chairman.

Heineken, which is a majority owner of United Breweries, believes its agreement with Mallya was voided once India’s Enforcement Directorate — an agency in charge of enforcing economic laws and fighting economic crime — seized Mallya’s shares (16.15 percent stake) in connection with alleged loan diversion and default on payments to banks.

An acting chairman has presided over the beer company’s board meeting for about a year.

United Breweries also owns California’s Mendocino Brewing Co. and New York’s Olde Saratoga Brewing Co. Those operations shuttered earlier this year.

McGargles Maker Receives $2 Million Investment

Bluebay Ireland Corporate Credit has invested more than $2.3 million in Ireland’s Rye River Brewing Company, the maker of the McGargles line of craft beers, the Independent reported.

According to Food For Thought, Bluebay acquired a nearly 40 percent stake in the beer company.

The investment comes as Rye River has reportedly turned around its fortunes after incurring losses in 2015 and 2016 due to rapid expansion. The company has since returned to positive EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) after cost cutting and exiting third-party brewing agreements.

Rye River will reportedly use the cash infusion to increase its brewing capacity and grow its sales volumes.

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