Is That Really Craft Beer? 33 Surprising Corporate Brewers

It matters who owns your beer, says Carol Stoudt, founder of Stoudt’s Brewing, “The passion is lost when the people running a brewery don’t have ownership, and then quality suffers.” A bigger concern, one echoed by brewers like Stoudt and Dogfish Head’s Sam Calagione is that the larger companies also have the power to manipulate markets. The chief example, one cited by Calagione, is that corporate brewers will sell their craft-like ale well below the cost of true craft beer to push them off a bar tap line.


RELATED: The Best 100 Beers in the World

Read article

The Brewers Association trade group defines a craft brewer as small (less than six million barrels annually), independent—with less than 25 percent ownership by a non-craft brewer, and holders of the TTB (the Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau) Brewer’s Notice. The quarter ownership figure was set to ensure a larger brewer doesn’t have significant influence, says Paul Gatza, senior vice president of the Brewers Association’s Professional Brewing Division. While most craft brewers are wholly acquired, several do cross the line of partial ownership. Widmer, Kona, and Redhook all share a 32 percent stake by Anheuser-Busch InBev. The three brands are actually one brewing company, the ironically named Craft Brew Alliance. And Lagunitas made headlines when it sold Heineken 50 percent control in the company. This phenomenon also isn’t limited to the U.S., with SABMiller purchasing Meantime Brewing to enter the U.K. craft beer scene. Not to be outdone, AB InBev recently picked up Cervejaria Colorado, a pioneer in Brazil’s craft beer culture.


RELATED: Dogfish Head's Sam Calagione Squares Off Against Budweiser

Read article

One name you may not recognize on the list of owners below is North American Breweries. An investment firm formed this corporation with five craft brewers in 2009 and later sold it to Florida Ice and Farm, a Costa Rican beverage company. Another is United Breweries Group, India’s largest beer and spirits company. And if you’re wondering what the difference is between SABMiller and MillerCoors, the latter is a joint venture for the U.S. market between the former and Molson Coors.

craft beer seal
Courtesy image

Faux and Formerly Craft Breweries and Their Owners

10 Barrel Brewing — Anheuser-Busch InBev

Ballast Point Brewing — Constellation Brands

Birra Del Borgo (Italy) — Anheuser-Busch InBev

Blue Moon Brewing — MillerCoors

Blue Point Brewing — Anheuser-Busch InBev

Breckenridge Brewery — Anheuser-Busch InBev

Camden Town Brewery (U.K.) — Anheuser-Busch InBev

Cervejaria Colorado (Brazil) — Anheuser-Busch InBev

Devils Backbone Brewing — Anheuser-Busch InBev

Dundee Brewing — North American Breweries

Elysian Brewing — Anheuser-Busch InBev

Fordham and Dominion Brewing — 40 percent owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev

Founders Brewing — 30 percent owned by Mahou-San Miguel

Four Peaks Brewing — Anheuser-Busch InBev

Golden Road Brewing — Anheuser-Busch InBev

Goose Island Beer Company — Anheuser-Busch InBev

Hop Valley Brewing — MillerCoors

Kona Brewing — 32 percent owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev

Lagunitas Brewing — 50 percent owned by Heineken International

Leinenkugel’s Brewery — MillerCoors

Magic Hat Brewing — North American Breweries

Meantime Brewing (U.K.) — SABMiller

Mendocino Brewing — United Breweries Group

Olde Saratoga Brewing — United Breweries Group

Portland Brewing Company (formerly MacTarnahan’s) — North American Breweries

Pyramid Breweries — North American Breweries

Redhook Brewery — 32 percent owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev

Revolver Brewing — MillerCoors

Saint Archer Brewing — MillerCoors

Shock Top Brewing — Anheuser-Busch InBev

Terrapin Beer Company — MillerCoors

Wicked Weed Brewing – Anheuser-Busch

Widmer Brewing — 32 percent owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev

For access to exclusive gear videos, celebrity interviews, and more, subscribe on YouTube!