LAtimes True Craft is a $100-million attempt to rescue craft breweries from cost-cutting investors and Big Beer, say Stone Brewing co-founders Greg Koch and Steve Wagner, who announced the venture last week.
The new organization will buy small stakes — no more than 25% — of interested craft breweries. That will allow breweries to expand or fund other improvements without compromising their independence by borrowing from banks, dealing with venture capitalists or selling to multinational conglomerates.
"This gives craft brewers another option to selling out to Big Beer," Koch said Friday in Monterey, Calif., at the E.G. Conference, an annual gathering that focuses on innovation and creativity. "This gives them the financing and flexibility they need to flourish while keeping their soul and control."
Stone, based in Escondido, and its unnamed partners are funding True Craft with an initial $100 million, Koch said, and "a lot more in discussion."
The details, though, are sketchy. How much is Stone contributing? Who are its partners? Where will True Craft be headquartered? Who will lead it? What financial data will breweries have to share to be considered? ...MORE