The Reality of Limits

So, Lagunita’s has sold a 50% stake in their business to Heineken. Here’s what they had to say about that.

The owner has gotten a bit of blowback for selling to Heineken because he was at the forefront of craft brewery owners railing against just this sort of thing. Now he’s turned a new leaf, apparently and he’s super excited to sell his beer in Mexico!

There are all kinds of ways to get up in arms about this but I think that the real problem is this: beer is a very old industry and I’m not sure there is a way to ‘revolutionize’ it.

We see new technologies come up all the time and what happens to most of them now? They are bought out by larger more established companies. Of greater rarity these days are the startups that go on to Twitter/Facebook/Google levels of relevance.

The owner of Lagunitas wants to sell his beer in Europe and Mexico and grow his business. How can he do that? Making inroads to those places costs a lot of money and it’s pretty clear that smaller companies are going to have to make some tough decisions in order to realize dreams of that scope.

He’d also like to retire someday and leave his company in a good place.  That’s where it gets tricky, because I promise you, it won’t be his company by the time this is all over.

So what to do? The reality seems to be that either you sell out to The Man or your accept that you won’t ever be a serious contender in the world of beer, because 99% of the drinking public can’t access your wares.

The question for me is: Is having a not-global brand a bad thing?

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One thought on “The Reality of Limits”

  1. This is a discussion worth having… for a lot of reasons. I am reminded of the eco-political slogan: “Think globally, act locally.” It can be argued, quite convincingly that “acting globally” is the cause of our current eco-socio-economic crisis.

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