Marty Butler is is the co-founder of The Butler Bros, an Austin-based branding, consulting and graphic design studio that has executed rebrands for craft breweries such as Maui Brewing Co. and Real Ale Brewing. In his column for Brewbound Voices, Butler, who also co-founded the Austin Home Brew Festival, describes his firm’s creative process while sharing lessons learned during recent branding projects with companies across the beer, spirits and food industries.
Brewbound Voices was created with the goal of providing readers valuable insight into areas like finance, investment, branding, marketing, sales, and distribution. The column serves as an avenue for experts to contribute their knowledge to our readership. Interesting in writing for Brewbound Voices? Email pitches to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Beer distributors have been adapting to changes in the marketplace, on one level or another, for decades. When retailers asked distributors for greater levels of service, the merchandising department was created. As on-premise accounts added more draft lines, distributors were asked to clean the lines and assist with repairs or new installations. So what makes the SKU proliferation of the past decade, and the level of associated changes, different from the above-mentioned service layers?
Kary Shumway is the founder of Beer Business Finance, an online resource for beer industry professionals. He has worked in the beer industry for over 20 years as a Certified Public Accountant and currently serves as the Chief Financial Officer for Clarke Distributors, Inc. in Keene, New Hampshire. In part I of his two-part column for Brewbound Voices, Shumway describes the inner workings of a beer distributor and begins to explain how these organizations are evolving to accommodate an onslaught of new craft SKUs.
In the final entry of our three-part series on branding considerations for craft breweries, Isaac Arthur, a partner and designer at CODO Design in Indianapolis, Indiana, explains how an established brewery might approach a rebranding process.
In part two of our three-part series on branding considerations for craft breweries, Isaac Arthur, a partner and designer at CODO Design in Indianapolis, Indiana, explains how a well-funded startup might approach its branding process.
It’s been nearly one year since we last invited a guest to contribute to the Brewbound Voices column, but we’re excited to pick things back up with a three-part series on branding considerations for three types of beer companies: bootstrapped breweries-in-planning, well-funded startups and firmly-established players who are looking to rebrand.
Rarely do we write, or read, reports of a brewery owner opting to turn the business over to the next generation. As the industry continues to evolve, however, we recognize that some brewery owners might be considering a generational transfer as their primary succession plan. So, to discuss the ins and outs of generational transfers we tapped Deborah Steinthal, the founder and managing director of Scion Advisors, a boutique strategy consulting firm serving private business owners in the food and alcoholic beverage industries.
Liquidity options are plentiful for owners of craft breweries: strategic sale, private equity, management buyout, family transfer, leveraged recapitalization. Which path should you take? Harpoon, New Belgium, Odell, Left Hand and many others walked a different path. These breweries chose to implement an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). ESOPs can be a great exit strategy for craft brewers. Outlined below are the top five reasons why craft brewers should consider an ESOP.
The combination of low interest rates, explosive growth, and a surplus of buyer capital has led to a transformative time in the craft beverage alcohol industry, particularly in craft beer. As transaction advisors to the beverage alcohol industry, we’ve worked on numerous transactions over the last several years. This experience has afforded us the opportunity to understand the investment rationale of buyers as they evaluate entering, or growing, in the beverage alcohol industry. While there are many factors that are considered when making an investment in a beverage company, one common thread in all transactions is the strength of the brand.
Recently, some of the biggest headlines in the craft beer industry haven’t been about the beer; they have been about the mergers and acquisitions of the brewers of the beer. With the increased frequency of craft brewery transactions, owners should be thinking about what the future holds for their business (and what could be their most valuable asset). That future may include a transition to a family member, selling only a part of the business in order to fund growth or to allow owners to take some chips off the table or, in the right circumstances, to sell the entire business. Even if you have no immediate plans or desire to sell or transition your business, these tips will help you position your business so that you can take advantage of opportunities and respond to challenges that cause you to rethink your plans.
In an effort to continue providing our audience with valuable insight in areas like finance, investment, branding, marketing, sales, and distribution, we’re excited to introduce “Brewbound Voices,” an avenue for experts to contribute their knowledge to our readership. Kicking off the initiative is Mike McCann, the chairman of Kansas-City-based law firm Spencer Fane’s corporate practice group.