You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myAJC.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myAJC.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myAJC.com.

Terrapin to sell majority stake to beer behemoth


MillerCoors has struck a deal to take a majority stake in Terrapin Beer Co., the popular Athens craft brewery.

Terrapin was founded in 2002 by Brian “Spike” Buckowski and John Cochran. The partners sold a minority interest in the company to MillerCoors’ craft brewing division, Tenth and Blake Beer Co., in 2012. There had since been rumors of negotiations for MillerCoors to acquire a larger share.

A profusion of successful regional craft brewers in recent years has prompted big, old-line brewing companies to invest in a growing number of them.

Overall beer sales by volume in the U.S. dipped 0.2 percent in 2015, but craft beer sales grew by 12.8 percent, according to data from the Brewers Association. Craft beer makes up 12.2 percent of U.S. sales.

Terrapin will operate as an independent business unit of Tenth and Blake, the companies said in announcing the deal on Wednesday. Terrapin’s management and team will continue to create, brew, package, ship and sell Terrapin brands.

The transaction is expected to close in August. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

“Bringing Tenth and Blake on years ago allowed us to get to know each other better and realize the incredible potential of becoming a majority-owned partner with Tenth and Blake and MillerCoors,” Buckowski said in a release. “With Tenth and Blake’s dedication to helping us grow … we look forward to continuing to create innovative beers to share with beer lovers nationwide.”

Last year MillerCoors/Tenth and Blake took a majority stake in San Diego’s Saint Archer Brewing Co., and it also owns Blue Moon Brewing Co. in Denver, and Leinenkugel Brewing Co. in Chippewa Falls, Wis., as well as several import brands including Pilsner Urquel.

Leah Kuck, a spokeswoman for Terrapin, said for now the company will concentrate on current operations and delivering products in the Southeast, but expansion will follow “in the near future.”

The company produced 57,000 barrels of beer last year, up nearly 25 percent from 2014.

Buckowski will remain with the company and direct brewing while Cochran plans to leave, Kuck said. Frank Skorzewski, the company’s chief financial officer, will step into the role of president.

“We’re brewing the same beers with our brewers in the back,” Kuck said.

Among Georgia craft brands, Terrapin is No. 2 in volume to Atlanta’s Sweetwater Brewing Co., which remains independent but has also been seeking to expand its reach. Sweetwater, the 18th-biggest craft brewer nationally, last year installed its first formal chief executive and said it was scouting its first plant outside Georgia.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Business

Kempner: Gwinnett CEO’s paycheck has shareholders fuming, again
Kempner: Gwinnett CEO’s paycheck has shareholders fuming, again

It’s not easy to be a good listener if you don’t like the message, especially when it’s something like: “Stop blowing our money.” For example, there’s a publicly traded company in Gwinnett where the board of directors continues to lavish pay on its CEO at a rate that would make the bosses of much larger Fortune...
Southern Co. hits off switch on “clean coal” experiment
Southern Co. hits off switch on “clean coal” experiment

Southern Company said it is suspending efforts to get a troubled Mississippi plant running properly that had been touted as the future for “clean coal” power plants. The Atlanta utility company said Wednesday it is “immediately suspending start-up and operations activities” for the coal gasification unit at its Mississippi Power...
Vogtle critics want regulator to study bankruptcy’s effects on project
Vogtle critics want regulator to study bankruptcy’s effects on project

Critics of the troubled Plant Vogtle nuclear project say state regulators are ignoring the $8 billion elephant in the room, and want the agency to hold public hearings on the projects’ growing price tag and delays after a key contractor’s bankruptcy. Last week, Nuclear Watch South, an environmental advocacy group, filed a legal motion aimed...
Hartsfield-Jackson expects checkpoint record on Friday
Hartsfield-Jackson expects checkpoint record on Friday

Record crowds are expected at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport on Friday as travelers set off for 4th of July trips. The airport expects more than 90,000 passengers to pass through security checkpoints that day, surpassing the previous record set over the Memorial Day holiday travel period. A total of 3.4 million people across the country are...
UPS to freeze non-union pension plan
UPS to freeze non-union pension plan

UPS plans to freeze pensions for non-union employees, joining a parade of U.S. corporations that have altered or dumped traditional retiree payout plans. The freeze will go into effect in 2023, affecting about 70,000 administrative and managerial employees, according to UPS. The company plans to shift employees to a plan including extra company contributions...
More Stories