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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

When They Get Old

This has been a bit of a hobby horse of mine lately: what happens when the founding generation ages out and want to retire from brewing? They sell their baby. Case in point:
The North Bay Business Journal broke the news today that the Anderson Valley Brewing Company, now in its 23rd year, was sold to HMB Holdings, LLC. A year ago I interviewed AVBC founder Ken Allen regarding family-owned breweries and he revealed he was already in discussions to unload his brewery. “The problem is that I’m getting to be an old man,” said Allen. “I don’t have the ambition I used to have. In fact, I’ve kind of announced the brewery’s for sale. In another few months I’m going to be 70 years old and it’s getting to where I don’t like the stress anymore.”
This is huge news: Anderson Valley can lay claim to being one of the most consistently high-quality breweries in America over the past 20 years. Will HMB Holdings regard it with the same loving tenderness as Ken Allen? Let's hope so.


  1. Read about this on this morning. Interesting idea. Anderson Valley will loose it's craft brewing status just like Widmer, Redhook, and others. Sadly brewers like Goose Island who have been bought out still make decent beer but are excluded.

    Another craft brewery trades hands and is exiled from the BA's list of craft brewers, despite wether or not their beer changes.

  2. Oh man... That looks like one tasty Oatmeal Stout! I haven't been to Oregon but would love to try some more of the local brews.
    And I do love my oatmeal stouts.

  3. @ Moon Art

    Anderson Valley is a California brewery in Booneville, just north of San Francisco