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What Does the Firestone Walker Acquisition Mean for Craft Beer Fans?

Duvel + Firestone Walker = ?
by Ryan Hudak on Jul 20, 2015 in Beer
What Does the Firestone Walker Acquisition Mean for Craft Beer Fans?

Last week, Firestone Walker posted a letter on their website saying they had been “invested in” by Duvel Moortgat. The companies will, in simplest terms, combine their operations while remaining separate breweries. Duvel will be able to add another quality brewery to its lineup, and Firestone Walker will be able to use the extra money to expand its operations and grow itself as its beers become more and more popular.

There was no real outcry over this, mostly because Duvel has been pretty good about acquiring breweries and then letting them do their own thing. Since buying Brewery Ommegang in 2003 and Boulevard Brewery in 2013, both have undergone considerable expansion while still maintaining the quality of their beer, but on a larger scale. Nothing points to the Firestone Walker partnership being any different. It also helps that Duvel is consistently producing one of the world’s best beers with its Belgian golden ale and not pumping out some disgusting swamp water on a massive scale.

What does this mean for you, the savvy craft beer consumer? Almost certainly nothing, at least quality-wise. Firestone Walker will continue to operate independently out of its Paso Robles brewery. You may see Firestone beers more often now as the brewery has the money to expand, but that should be the only change for the foreseeable future. While consolidation tends to make craft beer drinkers nervous, this is the best possible situation for a brewery that wants the capital to expand while remaining independent.  

As Simon Thorpe, the Duvel USA President, said in a statement, “The most important thing that we can do for Firestone Walker is to help David [Walker] and Adam [Firestone] manage the exponential growth that their team and their brewery is experiencing right now by providing financial and production capacity to support them.” So unless you really hate the idea of having more Firestone Walker beer available to you, this partnership should come as pretty good news.

Photo via Firestone Walker


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