Blue Point in L.I., New York Bought by A-B-InBev

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G.M. Gillman
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Blue Point in L.I., New York Bought by A-B-InBev

Postby G.M. Gillman » Wed Feb 05, 2014 1:49 pm

Reports out of New York say Blue Point Brewing Company has been bought by A-B-InBev. Interesting how, slowly, the majors are expanding their craft offerings in this way, i.e., as opposed to developing the brands and recipes in-house.

Some exceptions of course, especially Shock Top and Blue Moon, but these are wheat beers. For other styles, for some reason the bigs seem to be looking to successful small companies to do the trick for them. Of course Goose Island preceded this. A-B also has that minority stake in Craft Brewers Alliance and I'd guess could make an offer in the future to gain full ownership of Widmer.

Some kind of strategy is afoot, maybe to re-regionalise big brewing, i.e., create a bunch of small outfits serving their areas but all being owned by a company which formerly relied on shipping millions of cases of a few brands across the country. Thoughts?

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Postby TheSevenDuffs » Wed Feb 05, 2014 1:59 pm

It will be interesting to see what value this acquisition brings to InBev's portfolio. Blue Point seems like a fit for new craft drinkers and/or casual craft drinkers, so perhaps they can use their distribution network to capitalize on that.

I'd be surprised if anyone on BT even remembers the last time they had a Blue Point beer (I don't know if I EVER have). So, unlike the Goose Island acquisition, which is getting quality beer in to the hands of beer geeks, through increased production and distribution, this one seems to have very impact on the "beer geek" market.
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Postby groulxsome » Wed Feb 05, 2014 2:21 pm

Here is the official release, for those interested: http://www.bizjournals.com/albany/prnew ... 05/CG59455

I've never had any of Blue Point's beer and have never really planned on going out of my way to try them, so the biggest question that came to my mind was a local one: what about Hoptical Illusion? I imagine Flying Monkeys and Blue Point had some understanding allowing them both to use the name in good faith and distinct markets, but with the AB purchase, I wonder if any name changes will be in order.

Also, someone on BA pointed out the irony that Blue Point's mission statement on their website stated "We want to remain a small, local, independently-owned and operated microbrewery with absolutely no corporate ties." I assume that the deal and the other AB is brokering with craft breweries have some sort of agreement where these breweries remain somewhat autonomous. Though, again as the poet Nelly once wrote, "it must be the money."
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Re: Blue Point in L.I., New York Bought by A-B-InBev

Postby saints_gambit » Thu Feb 06, 2014 10:59 am

G.M. Gillman wrote:Reports out of New York say Blue Point Brewing Company has been bought by A-B-InBev. Interesting how, slowly, the majors are expanding their craft offerings in this way, i.e., as opposed to developing the brands and recipes in-house.

Some exceptions of course, especially Shock Top and Blue Moon, but these are wheat beers. For other styles, for some reason the bigs seem to be looking to successful small companies to do the trick for them. Of course Goose Island preceded this. A-B also has that minority stake in Craft Brewers Alliance and I'd guess could make an offer in the future to gain full ownership of Widmer.

Some kind of strategy is afoot, maybe to re-regionalise big brewing, i.e., create a bunch of small outfits serving their areas but all being owned by a company which formerly relied on shipping millions of cases of a few brands across the country. Thoughts?

Gary


To be honest with you, Gary, I think it's too early to have a concrete strategy like that. They're probably doing what E.P. Taylor did and just buying up whatever they can get their hands on.
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Postby Kel Varnsen » Thu Feb 06, 2014 11:20 am

groulxsome wrote:
I've never had any of Blue Point's beer and have never really planned on going out of my way to try them, so the biggest question that came to my mind was a local one: what about Hoptical Illusion? I imagine Flying Monkeys and Blue Point had some understanding allowing them both to use the name in good faith and distinct markets, but with the AB purchase, I wonder if any name changes will be in order.


Considering how small Flying Monkeys is I doubt they filed for a US trademark. Same with Blue Point and a Canadian trademark. Since neither version is exported I am not sure why there would be a problem.
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Postby icemachine » Thu Feb 06, 2014 11:29 am

Flying Monkeys (not to be confused with the Flying Monkey of KS) does export some beers to the US now, although not the Hoptical Illusion according to reports I've read
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Postby Kel Varnsen » Thu Feb 06, 2014 11:35 am

As far as the sale goes it is hard to get too upset about these sort of things. I mean from the article posted the Blue Point guys had been running the company for 15 years. If that was my company and I decided it was time to either retire or step back a bit on how much work you put it, it would be hard to ignore the highest offer for purchasing my company no matter who it was from. I mean unless you were in a situation to hand the company down to your kids, why would you take significantly less from someone else?
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Postby groulxsome » Thu Feb 06, 2014 11:53 am

Kel Varnsen wrote:
groulxsome wrote:
I've never had any of Blue Point's beer and have never really planned on going out of my way to try them, so the biggest question that came to my mind was a local one: what about Hoptical Illusion? I imagine Flying Monkeys and Blue Point had some understanding allowing them both to use the name in good faith and distinct markets, but with the AB purchase, I wonder if any name changes will be in order.


Considering how small Flying Monkeys is I doubt they filed for a US trademark. Same with Blue Point and a Canadian trademark. Since neither version is exported I am not sure why there would be a problem.


I just imagine AB's lawyers to be more litigious than a craft brewer's might have been. Maybe Blue Point had no intention of expanding, but who knows with AB? We didn't have Goose Island before AB bought them. I could imagine AB not wanting to be shackled in their ambitions by some small craft brewer in Ontario using a name they might want to bring into the market. Since BP used to distribute to Michigan and NY state, it might be tempting to tie Ontario in there too.
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Postby Rob Creighton » Thu Feb 06, 2014 4:19 pm

groulxsome wrote: what about Hoptical Illusion? I imagine Flying Monkeys and Blue Point had some understanding allowing them both to use the name in good faith and distinct markets, but with the AB purchase, I wonder if any name changes will be in order.


What?!?...Not likely. Who thinks like that? Don't ever assume that anything Peter does would include "some understanding". I cannot ever imagine that. You make it sound like rational people doing business in good faith - in the craft industry. Really?!?

I like the fact that Inbev now owns the rights to the brand "Toxic sludge". I can see them taking this national :wink:

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