First Beverage Group:
First Beverage Financial, the investment banking arm of First Beverage Group, announced that it acted as the financial advisor to Brooklyn Brewery in its sale of a minority equity interest to Kirin Brewery. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The investment will allow Brooklyn to remain independently owned and operated by president Robin Ottaway and CEO Eric Ottaway.
Founded in the late 1980s, Brooklyn Brewery has become the nation’s twelfth largest craft brewer. Its expansion plans include construction of a larger brewery, a 600-person capacity rooftop beer garden and new headquarters offices to be located at Brooklyn’s Navy Yard. It will continue to operate its current brewery in Williamsburg. It also has plans in development for a Brooklyn bar to be located overseas. The investment by Kirin, Japan’s second-largest brewer by domestic market share, is intended to allow Brooklyn to continue its global expansion and to position it as a leading global craft brewer. Brooklyn has been exporting beer to Japan since 1988 and exports currently comprise about half of its business. It has been working for more than a decade with Carlsberg, which imports and distributes its beers throughout Europe and parts of Asia, and with which it has established craft breweries in Sweden and Norway. It will set up a joint venture with Kirin in January for the purpose of expanding the craft beer market in Japan and possibly developing an original product. It also has plans for a future partnership with Korea.
“We gave First Beverage a very complicated assignment to execute and they performed beyond our expectations,” said Eric Ottaway. “The team they assembled worked day and night for months to get us to the perfect transaction. Their knowledge of the industry and all its players goes without saying, and their guidance was invaluable.”
“This was an extremely gratifying assignment for our team,” said William Anderson, founder and CEO of First Beverage. “It was exciting for us to help this already-successful brewery in its search for the right long-term partner to help accelerate its goals, and we’re thrilled at the outcome they achieved.”
“We were pleased to play a role in the unique partnership between Kirin and Brooklyn Brewery,” said Townsend Ziebold, managing partner of First Beverage. “It is a privilege to be a part of the first investment by a Japanese brewer in a US craft brewer, and we are happy that this international joint venture and investment will allow Brooklyn to fund its capital projects and growth.”
About Brooklyn Brewery
Co-founded in 1988 by author and beer industry commentator Steve Hindy and banker Tom Potter, Brooklyn Brewery is today run by brothers Robin and Eric Ottaway and under the direction of brewmaster Garrett Oliver produces its flagship Brooklyn Lager in addition to a wide-ranging portfolio of beers, including East IPA, Brown Ale, BLAST!, Sorachi Ace and Greenmarket Wheat, as well as seasonals like Brooklyn Summer Ale and Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout. More information on Brooklyn’s beers, blog, events and more can be found at http://brooklynbrewery.com/.
The Japan Brewery Company, the forerunner of Kirin, was founded over a hundred years ago in 1885. Just three years later, in 1888, the brewing of Kirin beer began. 1990 saw the launch of Kirin Ichiban Shibori, a unique brew made exclusively from the first press of the wort. Today, Kirin Ichiban is brewed in the United States by Anheuser-Busch under strict supervision of a Kirin brewmaster, and by partners all over the world. As the world’s only first press beer, Kirin Ichiban is the true embodiment of beer at its purest. For more information, visit http://kirinusa.beer/.