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US craft beer makers merge at 300 mln dlrs, as industry shifts

14-May-2019

Photo by Thomas Picauly on Unsplash

Dogfish Head and Boston Beer Company announced they are merging, in a deal worth about 300 million dollars, in a sign of how the once-niche US craft beer industry is rapidly shifting and becoming more corporate.

Boston Beer Company, which makes Samuel Adams among other brands, was trading 4 per cent higher on Friday, a stand out in the US stock market which was generally in the red this week on concerns about the trade war with China.

The merger brings together the second largest and 15th largest craft beer makers, as the market expands for the more expensive and, arguably, better tasting brew.

Not too long ago, the US was known for bland beer and the market was dominated by a small group of giants, including Anheuser-Busch, which makes Budweiser, long seen as a quintessential brand, and which remains the top company.

Over the past two decades, a slew of micro-breweries and craft companies have, however, come to gain a significant segment of the market share.

An estimated 22 per cent of sales are now dominated by a wide-range of these smaller companies, according to the Brewers Association.

US costumers prefer locally brewed options, which make up more than 80 per cent of the market. (dpa)

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