Press Clips: Founders Brewing Sale Valued at $198 Million, According to Report; Colorado Brewers Guild Names New Executive Director

Spanish brewer Mahou San Miguel paid $198.8 million to acquire an additional 59% stake in Founders Brewing Company this year, MLive reported, citing a purchase agreement and other documents filed with the Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC).

Mahou San Miguel already owned 30% of the Grand Rapids-based craft brewery following a 2014 transaction valued at $96.3 million. Once this transaction closes next year, the company will hold 90% of Founders, while Founders Brewing co-founders Mike Stevens and Dave Engbers will each retain 5% of the business.

However, MLive reported that Founders issued a statement saying the purchase price referenced in MLCC records shows “inaccurate assumptions as to value.”

Asked by Brewbound to clarify, a Founders spokesperson wrote: “The terms of the transaction are not being disclosed. Any information obtained through outside sources we will not comment on.”

According to MLive, an “equity purchase agreement” between Mahou and Founders dated July 9 listed an “aggregate purchase price” of $198.8 million. That document was signed by Stevens, Engbers and representatives from Mahou. The $198.8 million sale price is also referenced in a license transfer agreement submitted to the MLCC as the “total purchase price,” and the MLCC confirmed the $198.8 million figure as the price Mahou paid for 59% of the business.

If accurate, Mahou San Miguel will have paid more than $294 million for its majority stake in Founders. For reference, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery’s merger with Boston Beer Company was valued at $300 million in cash and stock.

Dark Horse Brewing Owes Back Mortgage Payments, Taxes

Days after reports surfaced that Michigan’s Dark Horse Brewing Company would be acquired by Roak Brewing, TV station WWMT reported that the acquiree owes millions of dollars for failing to pay its mortgage, as well as thousands in back taxes.

According to the report, a lawsuit filed by Chemical Bank alleges Dark Horse and its owners, Aaron and Cally Morse, have failed to pay about $1.5 million in mortgage payments dating back to 2007. Meanwhile, Dark Horse owes $12,018 in unpaid taxes to the city of Marshall for 2018 and could go into forfeiture if not paid by a March 1 deadline.

Roak Brewing CEO John Leone told the outlet that his company is working with the bank and will pay off the debt after the transaction for the brewery closes, possibly in December.

Meanwhile, Leone told the Detroit Free Press that last year’s planned merger with Right Brain Brewery “just didn’t work out,” but declined to offer additional details.

Shawnee Adelson Named Colorado Brewers Guild Executive Director

The Colorado Brewers Guild today named Shawnee Adelson as its next executive director. Adelson has worked for four years as the non-profit trade group’s membership coordinator.

“The future of the Colorado Brewers Guild is in great hands with Shawnee,” Upslope Brewing founder and guild president Matt Cutter said in a press release. “Her experience and leadership is exactly what the Guild needs to continue its progress of legislative victories, educational programs, impactful events, and demonstration of value for members.”

Adelson added: “Through collaboration, creativity, dedication to craft, and a few beers, we are able to continue to position Colorado as the State of Craft Beer. I look forward to continuing the work on behalf of our members and supporters, and I know that my knowledge and experience will provide the necessary stability to the organization.”

Adelson had served as interim executive directors since Andres Gil Zaldana departed the organization in June after more than two years in the role.

Gil Zaldana told alt-weekly newspaper Westword in June that he was “focused on personal, family, and health matters at home.” His departure followed the exit of Steve Kurowski, who had served as marketing director and left to work for Laws Whiskey House.

Dogfish Head Boil Kettle, Vibrating Football Game Added to Smithsonian

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History has added Dogfish Head co-founder Sam Calagione’s boil kettle and vintage electric football game — used in the process of continual hopping — to its growing collection of homebrewing and craft beer history items in the American Brewing History Initiative, according to Smithsonian.com.

“My Dogfish Head co-workers and I are excited to have our brewery’s original boil kettle and continual-hopping invention now within the Smithsonian’s permanent collection,” Calagione told the website. “This American institution is all about shaping the future by preserving our country’s heritage.”

The American Brewing History Initiative is the first project aimed at collecting and preserving artifacts from the growth of the craft beer industry. Read about other items collected by the initiative, including Charlie Papazian’s spoon, here.

In other Dogfish news, the company’s collaboration trail running shoes — with SeaQuench Ale branding — with Merrell, was the No. 1 selling shoe on the company’s website after the launch.

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