Constellation Brands, owner of Corona and other beer, wine and spirits brands, announced its acquisition of former craft brewery, Funky Buddha this week, on Aug. 10, 2017. The deal marks the second craft brewery purchase by Constellation Brands, which famously acquired Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits of San Diego, California for $1 billion in 2015. The details of the most recent deal with Funky Buddha, which is now based in Oakland Park, Florida, were not disclosed.
As per usual with brewery acquisitions, Funky Buddha said its decision to sell to the global alcohol producer and marketer was based on shared ideals and passions between the two brewers, and that Funky Buddha will continue business as usual with Constellation as its parent.
“Constellation and Funky Buddha share a lot of the same ideals and passion for philanthropy, entrepreneurship, and the art of craft beer,” said Funky Buddha head brewer and president, Ryan Sentz. “At the end of the day, we just really like the people we have met within the organization, each of whom shares our dedication to making outstanding beer.”
According to Craft Beer & Brewing magazine’s brewingindustryguide.com, Funky Buddha brand director, John Linn also cited capacity as a reason for the sale:
“This is the right move for us on a number of levels,” he said. “Constellation is about the higher end consumer and that’s what we’re about. When we had the opportunity to join, it makes sense from access to market, to the distributor network, the physical resources and facilities. At the same time, they want us to be who we are.”
Linn also said the brewery expected to max out its production capacity within the next two years, without its strategic partnership with Constellation.
Constellation Brands, well known in the beer world for being the parent company of Mexican beer brands like Corona, Modelo and Pacifico, along with former U.S. craft brewer, Ballast Point, is also the owner and prodcuer of many wine and spirits brands, including Mondavi and Svedka.
Funky Buddha, founded in 2010 in Boca Raton, Florida, has become well known amongst beer lovers for its boldly creative, oft outrageous brews such as Maple Bacon Coffee Porter (a 2016 World Beer Cup gold medal winner), Blueberry Cobbler, and Butta' Cup Peanut Butter Cup Double Brown Ale.
Will the die-hard craft beer devotees turn away now that Funky Buddha is no longer, by the Brewers Association definition, “craft?” Only time will tell. Until then, there are many more—upwards of 5,200—small and independent brewers to support with your dollars. So, don’t worry about this one too much.