Boston Beer Buys L.A.’s Angel City Brewing in Alan Newman’s First Move with Company

In November, we reported that Magic Hat founder Alan Newman had signed on with Boston Beer (the makers of Sam Adams) and was given a clean sheet of paper to help expand that company’s craft beer offerings.  Newman’s subsidiary has been dubbed “Alchemy and Science” (Alan clearly loves magic) and has just made it’s first big move, acquiring Los Angeles, California’s Angel City Brewing for an undisclosed sum.

The move makes sense, as Alan Newman told (via our pal Adam over at that Los Angeles is ripe for a craft beer boom: 

Newman said his “instinct” is telling him that the L.A. market has potential for big growth, adding “I think it could be a 10 to 12 share craft market in the next few years and that is a huge opportunity.”

I’ve never had any of Angel City’s offerings, but some of our readers swear by what former owner and brew master Michael Bowe has been cooking up out there in La La Land.

When Bowe relocated his brewery to L.A.’s Art District in late 2010 he said, “My vision for Angel City Brewing is about being located in Downtown Los Angeles. I think this great city deserves a great brewery and we hope to become that.”  The financial backing of Alchemy & Science/Boston Beer will allow Bowe to see his vision for the brewery come to life at an accelerated pace, creating a space that will boast 27,000 square feet and include guest parking.  That’s pretty good for a guy who started his professional brewing career with an 8,000 barrel brewery he bought on eBay.

As for Bowe, don’t expect him to stick around after his transitional commitment with Alchemy & Science is up.  Here’s what he had to say in the press release announcing the acquisition:

Anyone who has ever started a business knows that the road to growth is neither smooth nor straight. I followed my dream in starting Angel City, and I furthered that dream in moving the brewery to the L.A. Arts District. But, I realized that what I love is brewing beer, not running a business, so I’m off to chase another dream.

That sounds a lot like a guy who has one foot out the door.  Bowe is a homebrewing legend in Los Angeles (He was named L.A. Homebrewer of the Year in 1995 and 1996), but being good at making beer doesn’t automatically make you good at owning and running a successful business.

We wish him lots of luck with whatever comes next, and we hope that this acquisition turns out to be a good thing for beer geeks in Los Angeles.

And for all of you brewers out there who are being courted by the likes of MillerCoors’ Tenth and Blake, be sure to give Mr. Newman a call before you sign on the dotted line – it looks like there are ways to get a cash infusion without getting in bed with Big Beer.




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Categories: Beer, News


Craft beer nerd, frequent beer blogger and occasional home brewer.

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6 Comments on “Boston Beer Buys L.A.’s Angel City Brewing in Alan Newman’s First Move with Company”

  1. January 6, 2012 at 12:06 pm #

    Good stuff Jim, here’s a link to a good interview with Newman around the time Alchemy and Science was formed that gives a lot of backstory on his Magic Hat brewing career:

  2. January 6, 2012 at 1:53 pm #


  3. Greg H
    January 6, 2012 at 2:06 pm #

    Didn’t take Newman very long…

  4. January 6, 2012 at 3:38 pm #

    If you ever read the food blog with a heavy dose of craft beer called Hot Knives, you would know that LA has a thriving craft beer scene. They just don’t brew any themselves. The beer comes in all directions to the city of angels.

  5. January 17, 2012 at 6:54 pm #

    The LA beer scene is a sleeping giant that just needs to be awakened. Slowly, people are waking up to the good stuff.


  1. Old Antonia, Los Angeles e peperoncini | inbirrerya - February 2, 2012

    […] ottobre scorso, e non sono certo rimasti con le mani in mano: è notizia di pochi giorni fa dell’acquisizione da parte di Magic Hat (e quindi di Boston Beer) della Angel City Brewing Company di Los Angeles, ri-aperta nel 2004 (era […]

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