Craft beverage 2016 M&A update

Baker Tilly Capital, LLC’s Craft Beverage M&A Update provides an overview of the U.S. craft brewery, craft spirits distillery and other craft beverage markets as well as select transactions.

Craft brewery market trends

During the first half of 2016, craft beer production growth slowed to 8%, which is on pace to be lower than the 13% growth experienced during 2015. Despite waning production growth, 917 net new breweries opened during the first half of 2016, bringing the total breweries in operation to an all-time high of 4,656 breweries. A portion of the growth rate reduction is due to large non-craft brewers acquiring craft breweries during the past year. 8% growth is reflective of a craft beer market in maturation, though with room still to grow and take away market share from major players. Based on estimates for the second half of 2016, an increase of approximately 2 million barrels is expected for total annual craft beer production of about 26.5 million barrels, which represents approximately 12% of total U.S. beer production.

In addition to Anheuser-Busch making craft brewery acquisitions, MillerCoors has increased its acquisition activity in recent years and more private equity firms are entering the industry by purchasing majority stakes in small breweries and consolidating their operations. 

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