USA, CA: Anderson Valley Brewing Company changes ownership, retains craft status
Anderson Valley, a Booneville-based craft brewing company best known for its Boont Amber Ale, was sold last week but unlike some recent changes-of-hands, the beer company will retain its craft status, Eater SF reported.
Since its founding 1987, the Anderson Valley Brewing Company has operated independently and in small batches, two of the chief factors that allow a beer company to be considered craft a designation that for many drinkers signals superiority to mass-market brews that, say, advertise during the Super Bowl or are featured at the endcap of ones local big-box retailer.
When small beer companies like Anderson Valley are sold to bigger businesses as San Franciscos Magnolia Brewing Company was last month, when Kirin acquired its owner, New Belgium that craft designation is frequently lost. After its sale to Sapporo in 2017, San Francisco-based Anchor Brewing another recent test case made business decisions derided by the Chron as trendy and jumping on every possible bandwagon. Not so for Anderson, however, as the buyer in this case is a wine industry veteran named Kevin McGee, a guy whos also been making beer in his garage for the last 12 years.
McGee, a lawyer by trade, is known by wine industry insiders as a longtime adviser to Kendall-Jackson winery founder Jess Jackson, and became the CEO of wine brand investment firm Terroir Capital after its founder was indicted for fraud. In his off hours, he pursued a passion for beer, and for the past 12 years hes run a one-barrel brewhouse out of his garage called Healdsburg Beer Company, producing IPAs, ales, and porters that have placed in the top three at the U.S. Open Beer Championships.
When McGee decided to move his operation out of the garage, he went shopping for a larger company and Anderson fit the bill, he says via a PR-circulated Q&A, as he admired the brewerys long proven quality and authenticity. That includes its well-known Boont Amber Ale and cult favorites like its line of goses, a German-style sour brew that Anderson offers in blood orange, melon, and cherry varieties.
McGee says he plans on keeping Andersons idiosyncratic beers in production, saying we didnt buy Anderson Valley to change it but to help it do more of what it does best. That said, he is planning on one change: The Healdsburg Beer Company will leave his garage, he says, and will move into Anderson Valleys taproom and brewery at 17700 Highway 253, in Boonville. There, HBC will remain small and true to the original thesis, McGee says, but there will be more of it available in the coming days and years.
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