BeerAdvocate, one of the oldest online beer communities, has been sold to Next Glass, a “company building software tools for beer enthusiasts, breweries, and bars, restaurants, and retailers focused on the craft segment.” Next Glass is the parent company of Untappd, another online beer community, which consists mainly of a mobile application for rating and reviewing beer.
“Since its inception in 1996, BeerAdvocate.com has grown into the largest and most diverse beer community online, and is considered one of the go-to websites for beer and the benchmark for beer reviews and ratings,” Next Glass said in a press statement last week.
“Next Glass understands BeerAdvocate's place in the craft beer community as the longest standing forum for in-depth beer reviews with a unique and passionate community. While there are plans to invest in new features and team members to benefit the BeerAdvocate community, the content in BeerAdvocate user profiles, forums, and beer pages will remain unaltered. BeerAdvocate will join Untappd under the Next Glass corporate umbrella; however, both will maintain their own distinct and separate platforms and brands for current and future users to enjoy,” the statement goes on.
BeerAdvocate as well as other craft beer publications have been struggling with the fast evolution of the industry. In 2019 after being 35 years on the market, All About Beer magazine filed for bankruptcy only two years after it acquired Draft magazine. Other smaller publications like Celebrator Beer News, Oregon Beer Growler Magazine and Northwest Brewing News also went out of the market in the last years.
In 2019, ZX Ventures, the global growth and innovation arm of AB InBev, fully bought RateBeer, “an active forum for beer lovers to come together and share opinions of beers, and beer retailers in a free environment” (inside.beer, 19.2.2019).
The same year Beer Advocate Magazine, which was a significant source of the company’s revenue, was ceased.“Advertisers are moving away from it, so we have to as well,” BeerAdvocate’s co-founder Todd Alström said at the time.
Now, he also disposed of the rest of his venture. “We've been struggling to keep the lights on for over two years, and we still face some challenges, but I'm confident that this is the best path for all of us,” wrote Todd Alström on its website. “It's a bittersweet moment, but I'm excited for the future and look forward to working with my new coworkers in taking BeerAdvocate to the next level.”
"Communities like BeerAdvocate and Untappd are important pillars of the brewing industry and deserve good stewardship," said Trace Smith, president of Next Glass. "We've demonstrated an appreciation for the integrity of these platforms and the importance of the vision of founders. We've worked hand-in-hand with Untappd founder Greg Avola over the last five years to improve the Untappd user experience, and we'll do the same with BeerAdvocate to ensure the brand remains true to its long-held central tenet – Respect Beer."