Less than two months ago AB InBev said it would sell its investment in Munich craft brewer Crew Republic in order to “focus more on other market segments” in its strategic alignment. (inside.beer, 25.10.2021) Now a new partner has been found. The Bitburger Brewery Group, one of the leading brewery groups in Germany, becomes the new shareholder of the approximately 10,000 hl craft brewery on the outskirts of the Bavarian capital.
Nothing was reported about the size of the shareholding, but it is said to be a shareholding "at eye level". The two founders, Mario Hanel and Timm Schnigula last owned 28% of the shares each, AB Inbev 20% and hop merchant BarthHaas owned 24%. However, it has become known that BarthHaas has also sold its share. Bitburger is therefore likely to hold at least 44% of the shares, if none of the founders has given up any additional shares.
"We believe in a craft beer market with products of the highest quality, but which should be accessible to a wider user base than before," says Bitburger CEO Jan Niewodniczanski. "Timm Schnigula and Mario Hanel have set up great things in precisely this segment over the last decade and done a lot for the German craft beer market. As enthusiastic brewers, we are very much looking forward to working with this passionate team," Niewodniczanski emphasizes.
Bitburger has a yearly turnover of EUR 696 million (USD 788m) and already owns several breweries across Germany. The group that is still family owned in the 7th generation has a strong foothold in the HoReCa business where Timm Schnigula, one of the two founders of Crew Republic also sees the best synergies for the craft brewer."By partnering with Germany's leading draft beer brewery, we see a great opportunity to make our beers available to even more passionate beer drinkers in the perfect environment," Schnigula says.