Many companies featured on Money advertise with us. Opinions are our own, but compensation and
in-depth research determine where and how companies may appear. Learn more about how we make money.

Advertiser Disclosure

The purpose of this disclosure is to explain how we make money without charging you for our content.

Our mission is to help people at any stage of life make smart financial decisions through research, reporting, reviews, recommendations, and tools.

Earning your trust is essential to our success, and we believe transparency is critical to creating that trust. To that end, you should know that many or all of the companies featured here are partners who advertise with us.

Our content is free because our partners pay us a referral fee if you click on links or call any of the phone numbers on our site. If you choose to interact with the content on our site, we will likely receive compensation. If you don't, we will not be compensated. Ultimately the choice is yours.

Opinions are our own and our editors and staff writers are instructed to maintain editorial integrity, but compensation along with in-depth research will determine where, how, and in what order they appear on the page.

To find out more about our editorial process and how we make money, click here.

By Brad Tuttle
October 13, 2016
Beth Harpaz—AP

This week, Brooklyn Brewery joined a growing list of small American craft brewers to sell a chunk of the business to a giant corporation with global reach. A 24.5% stake in the company was sold to the Japanese conglomerate Kirin Holdings.

In many ways, the move makes smart business sense. With the infusion of cash, “We intend to build another bigger brewery that will enable us to brew 100% of the beer we sell domestically in-house. We intend to build on a strategy that takes Brooklyn Brewery to a fully national brand with a top-class sales and marketing team supporting our distributors,” the company announced on Wednesday. “And we will continue to promote craft beer globally through our joint-venture brewery partnerships in Sweden and Norway, and soon-to-be Korea. It’s an exciting time to be a craft brewer.”

Quite obviously, despite the business arrangement with Kirin, Brooklyn Brewery still considers itself a craft brewer. The “C” word is a touchy term in the beer world. Many brewers and everyday beer drinkers believe that so-called “crafty” brews like Blue Moon and Shock Top, which seem to be independent but in fact are owned by beer giants like Miller Coors and Anheuser-Busch InBev, are not remotely genuine craft products. Critics say once-independent brands like Blue Point, Boulevard, and Goose Island are also undeserving of the craft label because they have sold out to larger brewers.

So what about Brooklyn Brewery? Well, as one commenter at the beer enthusiast site Beer Advocate dryly noted, “gee, what an interesting percentage” that Brooklyn agreed to sell.

Read Next: The Battle Brewing to Become the Coors Light of Craft Beer

The comment refers to Brewers Association’s definition of a craft brewer, which stipulates that production must be small (no more than 6 million barrels brewed annually), and that the business remains mostly independent. Specifically, the association considers a company a craft brewer only if “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.”

By selling 24.5% of the company to Kirin, Brooklyn Brewery is just under the cutoff. So the company gets to cash in by selling off a good-size chunk of the company, while still running the business—and while still retaining the use of the all-important term “craft beer.”

Advertiser Disclosure

The purpose of this disclosure is to explain how we make money without charging you for our content.

Our mission is to help people at any stage of life make smart financial decisions through research, reporting, reviews, recommendations, and tools.

Earning your trust is essential to our success, and we believe transparency is critical to creating that trust. To that end, you should know that many or all of the companies featured here are partners who advertise with us.

Our content is free because our partners pay us a referral fee if you click on links or call any of the phone numbers on our site. If you choose to interact with the content on our site, we will likely receive compensation. If you don't, we will not be compensated. Ultimately the choice is yours.

Opinions are our own and our editors and staff writers are instructed to maintain editorial integrity, but compensation along with in-depth research will determine where, how, and in what order they appear on the page.

To find out more about our editorial process and how we make money, click here.

EDIT POST