I’m very curious to see how the Big Boy Breweries are planning to infiltrate the craft beer world, and on Monday we got to see another piece of the puzzle.
MillerCoors’ craft beer division Tenth and Blake just acquired Crispin Cider Company, a Minneapolis-based brewer of cider. I’ll be honest – I didn’t know that hard cider was considered part of the craft beer world, but it is, at least according to Marketwire, which calls it “the beer industry’s fastest-growing category. ” So there you go. The acquisition makes Tenth and Blake the number three producer of cider in the United States.
Market wire had a quote from Tenth and Blake CEO Tom Cardella:
“Our vision is to accelerate our portfolio expansion within the world’s most exciting beer market. With cider’s explosion in the U.S., we were looking at the best way to participate in that growth,” said Tenth and Blake President and CEO Tom Cardella. “As we explored the category, Crispin stood out, not only because they were the most progressive and innovative producer, but also because we shared great personal chemistry. In addition to the best cider portfolio in the business, we love their energy, creativity and unsurpassed innovation capability. They make us an even better company right away.”
Crispin CEO Joe Heron chimed in as well, saying the deal gives them the backing they need to take over the cider world! Mwahahahaha!:
“We’re thrilled to be part of the Tenth and Blake family,” said Joe Heron, Crispin’s CEO. “We’ve always had very ambitious plans, and we’re proud of what we’re achieving with great products and an unrivaled creativity that mirrors the inspirational American craft-beer ethos. Tenth and Blake provides us the capability to scale up at the same pace as our increasingly accelerating demand in the U.S. and beyond.”
Crispin’s affiliate, the Fox Barrel Company was also part of the deal, so Tenth and Blake adds some additional interesting ciders to their portfolio, like pear, blackberry pear, ginger and blackcurrant cider and rhubarb and elderberry cider.
I have no idea what this acquisition actually means, because I follow craft cider about as closely as I Keep Up with the Kardashians, which is not at all. As a matter of fact, I always wonder what the hell cider is doing mingled into the craft beer aisle – put it with the wine, or the Mike’s Hard Lemonade or the Zima, don’t muddy up the beer space! Someone might accidentally buy that crap and decide craft beer is for wussies – not cool. I’m open to trying some cider, but it ain’t beer and shouldn’t be lumped in there.
Plans are for Crispin to be run as a wholly owned independent division.
The rest of Tenth and Blake’s portfolio is as follows:
- Blue Moon Brewing Co. at the Sandlot in Denver
- Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Co. in Chippewa Falls, Wis
- 10th Street Brewery in Milwaukee
- AC Golden in Golden, Colorado
- Birra Peroni in Rome and Plzensky Prazdroj (Pilsner Urquell) in Pilsen, Czech Republic.
Tenth and Blake beers include Blue Moon Belgian White, Leinenkugel’s Honey Weiss, George Killian’s Irish Red, Batch 19, Henry Weinhard’s IPA, Colorado Native, Pilsner Urquell, Peroni Nastro Azzurro and Grolsch.