Kirin-owned New Belgium Brewing Co. announced today to acquire Constellation Brands’ 259,000 square foot production brewery in Daleville, Va. This agreement pertains to the facility itself and will include offers for continued employment by New Belgium for all current employees, but the acquisition does not include any brands. The deal is expected to close in early May.
The Daleville brewery was opened on June 12, 2017 by the Ballast Point Brewing Company of San Diego, California. The 17th largest craft brewery in the US was acquired two years before in a whopping USD 1 billion deal by Constellation Brands. The new owner had ambitious goals to make the brand available throughout the United States but had to scrap plans (inside.beer, 17.4.2019) and eventually sold the brand and some of the brewing sites to the much smaller and relatively unknown Kings & Convicts Brewing Co. in December 2019. However, the Daleville site was excluded from the deal and remained with Constellation Brands. (inside.beer, 4.12.2019)
With the sale to New Belgium, the Fort Collins, Colorado, based brewery will expand its existing production capacity to help meet growing demand for its craft beer portfolio – including Voodoo Ranger, America’s #1 IPA brand family.
Upon completion of the deal, New Belgium – the largest and fastest-growing U.S. craft brewery – will immediately commence brewing at Daleville, focusing on Voodoo Ranger Juice Force IPA (the top U.S. craft beer launch of all time in 2022) and its high-velocity 2023 sequel Fruit Force IPA.
The transaction will also deliver strong benefits to the community, according to a press release. All of Daleville’s approximately 60 workers will be offered a seamless transition to New Belgium employment at equal or greater pay than before. A certified B Corporation, New Belgium’s compensation package – which includes a USD 20 per hour internal minimum wage, benefits like annual profit-sharing, high quality health insurance, paid sabbaticals at 10- and 20-year anniversaries, and more – will bring an immediate positive impact to Daleville.
“For a company growing as fast as New Belgium, there’s no challenge more urgent than boosting our ability to make enough beer to meet growing demand,” said New Belgium CEO Steve Fechheimer. “We’re excited to join the Daleville community, and we’re confident this facility and its local team will help us fuel our growth for the foreseeable future. We greatly appreciate the partnership we’ve seen from distributors and retailers over the past several months as we’ve worked to find a solution.”
As part of the deal, New Belgium and Constellation Brands will enter into a co-packing agreement, under which New Belgium will manufacture select brands for Constellation at Daleville, including the recently launched Fresca Mixed, among other select beer brands. In the future, New Belgium will explore ways to leverage the facility’s FMB, seltzer, and RTD capabilities, which provide new avenues to expand the company’s legacy of innovation.
There are no current plans to operate a taproom at Daleville. “One of the keys to our success is bringing a focused and disciplined approach to our beer business, making key strategic pivots when the circumstances warrant it,” says Jim Sabia, President of Constellation Brands’ Beer Division. “We are pleased that New Belgium Brewing will be able to more fully optimize the Daleville facility’s footprint and are confident they will position the existing talented workforce for additional future success.”
The Daleville brewery was purpose-built in 2017 with multi-category production capabilities across beer, FMB, seltzer, and spirits-based/wine-based RTDs. The site is located in the greater Roanoke area, strategically located near the I-81/I-64 interchange – and just a four-hour drive from New Belgium’s existing production brewery in Asheville, N.C. With a longstanding commitment to investing in communities, New Belgium donates $1 per barrel of beer sold to support social and environmental causes – especially those close to home. New Belgium leaders will be getting acquainted with the community in and around Daleville and expanding the company’s grants program to support positive impact in the region.
New Belgium Brewing, by that time the fourth largest craft brewery in the United States, was sold in 2019 to Australian-based Lion Little World Beverages, the global craft beer division of Australasian brewer Lion, which is part of Kirin from Japan. (inside.beer, 19.11.2019)