Only one week after the purchase of Peruvian craft brewer Barbarian (inside.beer, 20.8.2019), ZX Ventures, AB InBev’s venture capital division has acquired a minority stake in Munich, Germany, based craft brewer Crew Republic. The craft brewer which name is a play on words by amalgamating the two words “craft” and “brew” started as a home brew business in 2011. In its beginnings the company produced its beers under licence with Hohentanner Schlossbrauerei, about 85 km north-east of Munich until hops company Barth-Haas Group acquired a minority stake and helped financing an own production site in Unterschleißheim on the direct outskirts of Munich. The 12.000 hl brewery with a current production of about 10,000 hl, was opened two years ago.
Through the cooperation with AB InBev, Crew Republic hopes to more than double its sales. The capacity will therefore be extended to 25,000 hl. "The new partnership is a great way to make our beers available to even more passionate beer drinkers," says Timm Schnigula, who founded the company together with partner Mario Hanel.
AB InBev Germany which runs in Munich with Spaten-Löwenbräu also a large-scale brewery will take over the national distribution of beers like Drunken Sailor IPA, In Your Face West Coast IPA, Easy pale ale, Roundhouse Kick imperial stout, and many more starting on September 1st but being operational not before October 1st.
It is believed that especially the distribution in pubs and restaurants in the Munich area will help in expanding the business. Just a little bit longer than one year ago, Crew Republic started distributing its beers through former San Miguel importer Morgan Zuill and his Global Drinks Partnership, a cooperation which is now being terminated again.
The financial terms and conditions and the exact share of the business acquired by AB InBev was not disclosed but according to internal sources it is believed that the two founders together still hold a majority share of the business.
Florian Weins, head of Germany at AB InBev: "The founders of Crew Republic are not only among the pioneers of the German craft beer scene, they also produce excellent, multi-award-winning beers, according to the German Purity Law. We want to offer our customers high-quality beers - for a wide variety of consumer needs and occasions. Therefore, we are very pleased about the sales cooperation, because Crew Republic is the perfect complement to our existing portfolio."