Few craft brew entrepreneurs contemplate selling their business when they first get started. Unlike, for example, the typical entrepreneur in the software industry, the craft brewers we know were inspired by the love of great beer, a spirit of adventure, and the romance of creating a small manufacturing business. But the life cycle of most businesses eventually requires at least the consideration of a sale or other transaction designed to both recoup the entrepreneur’s lifelong investment and transition the company to the next generation.
From the buy side, the craft beer business has never been hotter, with market share now approaching 8 percent by volume in the U.S. and margins that have gotten the attention of both big brewers and non-U.S. brewers alike. This article, published in the January/February 2015 issue of The New Brewer, will explore at a high level some of the issues involved with buying and selling a craft brewery.