With the recent spat of craft breweries selling shares to major brewing conglomerates, the question of selling or staying independent is on the minds of many American craft brewers.
While there are many benefits for the craft brewer to sell to a large beer company—including increased distribution, better leverage to source ingredients, and greater marketing resources—many independent brewery owners are worried about losing “the soul”of the business they started.
In a Fortune article, Stone Brewing co-founder Greg Koch expresses his opposition to selling, saying, “Some of us got into this for our passion […] and wanting to fight ‘the man.’ Crazy as that may seem, there are some of us that may hold to that vision.”
Statements like these aren’t just philosophical exercises these days. When push comes to shove, brewery owners need to be ready to make the decision to sell or in some cases walk away completely. Dick Cantwell, co-founder and former head brewer at Elysian Brewing, resigned after his partners outvoted him and sold the company to AB InBev.
Read more about the dilemma facing craft brewers at fortune.com.