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News Alert: New Belgium Brewing Is Acquired By Kirin

November 19, 2019

International brewer Kirin, through its Lion Little World Beverages subsidiary, has purchased Colorado craft beer pioneer New Belgium Brewing for an undisclosed sum. The sale is set to close before year-end. In a letter published on the brewery’s website, co-founder Kim Jordan stressed the benefits to New Belgium’s employee-owners, while acknowledging that this is the end of employee-ownership. “More than 300 employees are receiving over $100,000 of retirement money,” she wrote. “Little World is committed to strategies to broadly share the wealth going forward.”

While New Belgium’s ownership structure has fundamentally changed, Jordan says that the company will retain its B Corporation status, meaning that Kirin and Lion Little World are committed to maintaining the environmental and social standards set by New Belgium. New Belgium Brewing is the fourth-largest craft brewer in the U.S., according to the Brewers Association.

Kirin Holdings, through Lion, purchased Little World Beverages in 2012. In addition, in 2016 Kirin took a 24.5% stake in New York’s Brooklyn Brewery.—Shane English

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