Sightlines — MillerCoors Makes Moves Prior to Merger — Oregon’s Hop Valley Joins Tenth & Blake Portfolio

Michael Kiser

THE GIST
Last week, MillerCoors craft division Tenth & Blake announced its second brewery purchase in as many weeks. Oregon’s Hop Valley Brewing becomes the fifth brand in the portfolio after selling a majority stake in its business, joining Terrapin, St. Archer, Leinenkugel, and Blue Moon (it's home-grown craft brand). 

WHY IT MATTERS
Coors looks likely to acquire the rights to the Tenth & Blake portfolio after SABMiller is forced to sell off the majority of its assets. This is due to non-competition rulings coming into force as a result of its still-pending merger with AB-InBev. One condition that will be in place after the DOJ authorized the Miller/ABI deal will make future brewery acquisitions much more difficult for AB-InBev once the deal is complete. MillerCoors seems to be uncharacteristically eager to do as much business as possible before the merger goes through, citing Hop Valley's complementary hoppy profiles as being an under-represented style in the Tenth & Blake portfolio, and putting them in a more competitive position out of the gate after such a merger. 

When the Terrapin deal was announced we discussed why brands such as MillerCoors and Constellation have been slower to act in the acquisition market. With so much pressure building against this pending merger, and greater restrictions coming, don’t be surprised to see stories similar to this one breaking before the dust over the Miller/ABI deal has even begun to settle.

— Matthew Curtis