Brooklyn Brewery Sells Minority Stake to Kirin

Image credit: Brooklyn Brewery

Brooklyn Brewery Sells Minority Stake to Kirin

Posted on October 12, 2016 by NYCBG

Brooklyn Brewery announced in a blog post today that it has sold a minority stake to Japanese brewer Kirin.

The blog post, written by Brooklyn Brewery president Robin Ottaway, notes that the investment from Kirin will allow Brooklyn Brewery to remain an independent owned and operated brewery as defined by the Brewers Association

Earlier today in Japan, we announced that Kirin Brewery will be making a minority equity investment in Brooklyn Brewery. This investment allows Steve, Garrett Oliver, Eric and me to achieve our #1 goal- to remain an independent owned and operated brewery (as defined by the Brewers Association).

Robin Ottaway

The Brewers Association defines and independent brewery as “Less than 25 percent of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by an alcohol industry member that is not itself a craft brewer.” A report from Reuters cites that Kirin has acquired 24.5% of Brooklyn Brewery, which would keep them within the BA definition of an independent brewery. The actual dollar amount of the deal remains undisclosed.

The partnership will allow Brooklyn Brewery to remain independent with its management intact. As Mr. Ottaway makes clear, the deal does not change the goals of the brewery. He also states that the additional resources will be used to “reinvest in Brooklyn Brewery.”

This is an exciting development for the brewery, as they have plans to open a new 75,000 square foot brewhouse, tasting room, and rooftop beer garden in the Brooklyn Navy Yards. They are also planning to open a larger brewery in Staten Island, which will eventually allow them to end their contract brewing relationship with FX Matt, and brew 100% of their beer in NYC.

Kirin and Brooklyn Brewery are discussing the possibility of developing original products for the Japanese market, as well as considering a restaurant business.

Exports have grown to become large part of business for Brooklyn Brewery, accounting for about 45% in 2015. With strategic partnerships with international players like Carlsberg and now Kirin, Brooklyn Brewery will continue to expand its global footprint.


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