$300mn merger between Boston Beer and Dogfish Head breweries
One week ago, Boston-based brewing company Boston Beer Co announced that it had entered into an agreement with Delaware craft beer house Dogfish Head. The US$300mn merger, which is expected to close in Q2, 2019, is expected to shore up Boston Beer - best known for its Samuel Adams brand of craft ales and lagers - in the craft beer sector, as liquor and wine together regained a majority share of the US alcohol market in 2018.
Dogfish Head is on pace to sell nearly 300 thousand barrels for the full year 2019, which would represent high single digit growth versus the prior full year. The company saw its popular IPAs and sour beers propel it to 9% growth last year, which would boost to Boston Beer’s core business.
According to an interview with Yahoo Finance, the merger could also see Dogfish Head CEO Sam Calagione rise to a senior leadership role in the Boston Beer Co.
“I do believe that Sam, who’s shown this enormous creativity within beer, can bring some of that to [our offerings] beyond beer, which is kind of a wide open space in a lot of ways sort of like craft beer was 30 years ago,” Boston Beer co-founder Jim Koch told Yahoo Finance. “And you have more and more craft brewers thinking about what we did 30 years ago which was expanding.”
Dogfish Head’s net sales for the full year 2019 are expected to be between $110 and $120mn. Dogfish Head employs approximately 400 employees, produces most of its beer at its brewery in Milton, DE, and sells its beer in more than 40 states.
"Not only are Dogfish Head and Boston Beer two original American breweries, but Jim Koch and I worked hard with other leading craft brewery founders and the Brewers Association to develop and champion what defines independent American brewers," said Sam Calagione, founder and brewer of Dogfish Head. "This merger better positions Dogfish Head and our co-workers to continue growing within this definition for many years to come. In fact, Mariah and I believe so much in the future of our merged companies that we are all in, and personally we're reinvesting nearly all of the proceeds back into the combined entity. We're also proud to announce that we intend to devote a percentage of the Boston Beer stock that we receive to establishing a foundation and funding various local charitable programs."
The combined company will be led by Boston Beer CEO, Dave Burwick. "This is a formidable combination of brands, incredible brewing talent, and leaders who remain 100 percent focused and committed to the long-term health of our breweries and growing the beer industry. United, we will have the highest quality, most distinct, high-end portfolio, from both a price-point and product perspective with the top-ranked sales organization to bring it to market. We expect that we'll see more consolidation in the Craft industry over time, and we'll be in the best position to take advantage of those changes."
Microsoft: Building a secure foundation to drive NASCAR
Microsoft is a key partner of The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) and together they are driving ahead to create an inclusive and immersive new fan experience (FX).
These long-term partners have not only navigated the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic with the use of Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365, but are now looking to a future packed with virtual events to enhance the FX, well beyond NASCAR’S famous Daytona racetrack.
“Together, we've created a secure environment that's allowed for collaboration, but the future is all about the fans”, said Melinda Cook, General Manager for Microsoft South USA Commercial Business, who cited a culture of transparency, passion, adaptiveness, and a growth mindset as to why this alignment is so successful.”
“We've partnered to create a fluid, immersive experience for the users that is supported by a secure foundation with Microsoft in the background. We are focused on empowering and enabling customers and businesses, like NASCAR, to reach their full potential. We do this with our cloud platform which provides data insights and security.”
“Our cloud environment allows NASCAR to move forward with their digital transformation journey while we are in the background,” said Cook who highlights that Microsoft is helping NASCAR
- Empower employees productivity and collaboration
- Improve fan engagement and experience
- Improve environment security and IT productivity
- Improve racing operations
Microsoft Teams, which is part of the Microsoft 365 suite, enabled employees to work remotely, while staying productive, during the pandemic. “This allowed people to provide the same level of productivity with the use of video conference and instant messaging to collaborate on documents. Increased automation also allows the pit crews, IT, and the business to focus on safety, racing operations, and on the fan experience,” said Cook.
“We have started to innovate to create a more inclusive fanbase, this includes using Xbox to give people the experience of being a virtual racer or even leveraging some of the tools in Microsoft Teams to have a virtual ride along experience.”
“These environments are how we create a more inclusive and immersive experience for the fans. We're working on a virtual fan wall which allows people from new locations to participate in these events,” said Cook, who pointed out Microsoft was also helping bring legacy experiences alive from NASCAR’s archives.
“At Microsoft we can take it one level further by letting fans know what it's like to see the pit crew experience, the data and all the behind-the-scenes action. We will continue to improve automation with machine learning and artificial intelligence, from marketing to IT operations to finance to racing operations,” said Cook.
Christine Stoffel-Moffett, Vice President of Enterprise Technology at NASCAR, said: “Microsoft is one of our key partners. They have been instrumental in helping the NASCAR enterprise technology team re-architect our Microsoft systems to ensure an advanced level of security across our environment, contribute to our business outcomes, and focus on fan experience.”