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Sapporo USA To Acquire California Craft Player Stone Brewing For $168 Million

June 24, 2022

Sapporo USA is set to markedly expand its footprint with a deal to acquire California-based Stone Brewing, one of the larger craft brewers in the U.S., for approximately $168 million, plus performance-based earnouts.

Sapporo intends to produce its Sapporo-branded beers for U.S. distribution in Stone’s two breweries, in Escondido, California and Richmond, Virginia. “Building on existing capabilities, and supported by planned capital investments, Sapporo intends to brew 360,000 barrels in the U.S. by the end of 2024,” the company said. This will essentially double Stone Brewing’s current production and provide ample opportunities for growth for both brands, Sapporo added.

Stone will continue to brew its beers at the two breweries, as well as operate its seven tap rooms and World Bistro & Gardens venues with existing branding, management, and workforce under the Sapporo umbrella. Stone joins Anchor Brewing, acquired in 2017, in Sapporo’s U.S. craft portfolio. Stone Brewing’s distribution business is not part of the sale, and will become an independent company under current ownership. Including the wholesale business, Stone had sales of $230 million in the year through December, with an operating loss of around $10 million. According to Sapporo, “the beer manufacturing and sales business and restaurant business that will be acquired expect to turn a profit in FY2023.”—Daniel Marsteller

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